John Taylor recently rode the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT), from Southport on the west coast of the UK to Hornsea on the east coast, to raise funds for Qhubeka. He and his friend David Stephenson managed to raise an impressive £1,619 (R22,684) – enough to buy 12 brand new Qhubeka bicycles and helmets.
David, one of John’s riding partners, notes that the TPT was the perfect challenge for the group of enthusiastic cyclists. “It took us from one side of the country to the other through the areas we grew up,” he says. “We did over 70 miles a day for three days on mountain bikes across dirt tracks and over the Pennines. It tested our resolve, both physically and mentally to carry on through the aches and pains, tiredness and set-backs. An hour and a half in, we’d already had four punctures. We were tried from the beginning and continued through rain, strong winds and even for 40 miles without a seat!
“Qhubeka, which means “to carry on”, “to progress”, was the motto as we cycled, and it was the charity that made it worth it, our one-off efforts reflecting the struggles too many children still face on a daily basis for an education and that Qhubeka helps to alleviate with every bike donated. The generosity of our sponsors far exceeded our expectations and we are thrilled to donate enough money to this great charity for over 10 bikes.”
John says it was one of the toughest physical challenges he has ever faced. “My legs were in a lot of pain, but every mile cycled was worth it knowing we had raised such a fantastic amount of money for Qhubeka. I honestly never thought we would achieve over £1600. Seeing the donations coming in, as well as the supportive texts, tweets, emails and pats on the back from the general public definitely spurred us on to the finish.
“As expected, we had various ‘problems’ throughout the ride and encountered pretty much every weather condition possible, but we had a good group and had great fun along the way. It certainly feels good to know that through riding our bikes we have given the chance for kids much less fortunate to do the same.”
Here are a few facts about John and his group’s TPT ride:
- In total, the riders did 213 mi / 343 km (and average of 70 mi / 115 km per day)
- They climbed 4,500 ft over the three days
- They spent around seven hours a day on the bike
- The ride took them alongside rivers, canals and railways, through forests and towns and over muddy mountain trails
- They rode in rain, hail, high winds and sunshine
- The money they raised will fund 12 bicycles for Qhubeka Ride-for-Life recipients
If you’re riding an event and you’d like to raise funds for Qhubeka, consider riding on us.