We Pedalled, We Pushed, We Got to Brighton!
12 September 2016for the second time a Pan team covered the 85 kms from London to Brighton, known for its killer hills, with a mixture of steely determination, huge enjoyment and the knowledge that we were fundraising to get our work to more people who need it.
Thank You to all our Sponsors.
We were a great mixture of "serious cyclists" with their fabulous bikes, round-town cyclists challenging themselves, and total newcomers facing the unknown! We were also a mix of Pan's artists, staff, participants, committee members and friends, but we all wore our Pan Cycling Shirts with pride and pedalled into a lovely sunny morning from London's Clapham Common with over 3,000 other cyclists across gorgeous countryside heading south.
The route took us out of London through quiet routes and then through fields and villages, almost picture postcard perfect, with duckponds and cottages and we pedalled and we pedalled and we met THE HILLS.
For any of you who thought southern England is relatively flat - we know different. The route has half a dozen serious climbs and steep descents, all of which need considerable willpower to climb without getting off and walking. One of our team (from the North) exclaimed "I thought I was in Yorkshire" after the first few.
And then there is the legendary Ditchling Beacon which apparently has the same gradient as Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France (but is much, much shorter), and where 95% of riders dismounted and walked up. It is very, very tough but five of our thirteen riders managed to cycle it!
No account of the day would be complete without showering one person with a huge amount of praise. Melanie Anouf is quite frank about being unfit. Indeed she did her first ever (and only) keep fit class in March during our residency in the Calais "Jungle". Mel, who project manages two of our key projects, decided she was going to ride and fundraise for us. She bought a bike, she got out in London parks to practice and then she pedalled. More than pedalling she showed what can be achieved with sheer determination and refusal to give up. The smile on her face as we crossed the finishing line was a joy, so we have shared it with you above!
You can still be part of the fundraising to celebrate our success.
Why not donate to Mel's page to recognise her enormous effort?