Three Cycling for Teenage Cancer Trust

Brought to you by Gran Alacant´s Website – Dedicated to Gran Alacant

From Left to Right: Zara (Rob´s daughter) and riders Rob, Karen and Rich

Charity Cycle Ride

Three people from the On Your Bike Club have cycled from Barcelona to Gran Alacant in torrential rains to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Robert Hazel, Karen Grundeken and Richard Mills completed the 7 day 570km challenge on the 27th March 2015.

Robert asked the group to join him to raise funds for the trust in memory of Stephen Sutton who died of cancer last year at the young age of 19. Robert´s wife Liz was Stephen´s teacher and was behind organising the ride which was due to take place last year. However, Liz sadly passed away in October and the event was cancelled.

The On Your Bike Club was started by Christopher Farncombe and Gavin Martin.

20th March - 27th March 2015

Barcelona to Gran Alacant 569.4km

Gran Alacant´s Website followed the progress of the Times Square Barcelona to Gran Alacant Charity Cycle Ride raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Our website logo was added to the cycle team´s jacket.

Day 1 - Barcelona to Tarragona = 89.1km

Our Big Day has finally arrived! Riders warming up in the hotel car park in Barcelona prior to their first day of the Times Square CHARITY CYCLE RIDE raising money for The Teenage Cancer Trust

Sorry for the delay in updating Tarragona has little to no wifi or 3G access! So… To fill you all in we arrived with little issue in Tarragona yesterday afternoon. There was some crazy mountain climbing to do at the start - to a height of almost 500mtrs! In total 81.9kms done!

Day 2 - Tarragona to Sant Carles de la Rapita = 98.1km

Day 2! Tarragona to Sant Carles de la Repita! Very wet start to today, getting worse by the minute! Forced to stop due to dangerous rainy conditions! Currently changing clothes and drinking copious amounts of coffee!

Finally some better cycling conditions! The sun might be making an appearance soon. Here is Karen! Rich and Rob are just ahead.

Day 2 completed and what a very long, tiring and thoroughly exhausting day that has been! The riders have had their energy tested to the limit! 102kms in some of the most torrential down pours and mountain climbs! What’s worse it’s a similar weather forecast tomorrow and heading for Valencia! Please, please donate the riders are desperate for your support!! Spirits are high but energy is rock bottom! Recharging all energy levels now at an Italian Restaurant!! Bring on the pasta and then bed!

Day 3 - Sant Carles de la Rapita to Benicassim = 87.7km

Day 3 - A horrible day has dawned here! Woken by horrendous thunder and lightening storm at 6am - breakfast at 7.30am but currently waiting for the rain to ease even just a little before setting off….waiting and waiting….

…still waiting to start cycling! 87.7kms to do come on rain give us a break please!!! Still here…

We eventually made a go for it…. riders have now hit 239ft above sea level, blowing a gale, torrential rain and in the middle of a national park no where to shelter - got to keep cycling till next village! Positive side 29 miles to next hotel! Come on please keep the donations coming in! They need your support!

Karen here… had to give up at 46 Kms. Soaked through to the skin and shoes full of water. No dry clothes that would keep the rain out. Need to buy some for tomorrow and cover shoes so I can continue. Rob and Rich Mills still going and the rain is torrential.

Bad day all round today. Just had to go back for Rob as he got a puncture and now rich has one so going to pick him up too. Almost completed to the ride too. 8kms short.

Eventually everyone arrived safely.

Day 4 - Benicassim to El Puig = 75.6km

Day 4 - Delayed start due to shopping trip to sports shop to buy new waterproof clothing and new tyres! 45kms now done, brief lunch break and now ready to complete the next stage to El Puig Hotel roll on 26kms!!! Road conditions have been horrible again today and raining on and off with surface water everywhere!

Day 4 - finally at hotel! Thankfully all in one piece but has been horrendous YET again!!! The riders certainly need your support please give generously! Zara and I were forced to do a U turn due to inpassable road conditions! Forecast for Day 5… RAIN!!!!

Day 5 - El Puig to Cullera = 63.7km

Day 5 - Up to a grey but rain free sky! Drying up nicely let’s just hope it stays this way till Gandia!

Day 5 - Completed! Almost dry conditions throughout until final 5kms from the end! Absolute torrential rain to finish - soaked through yet again!! Fantastic sights today in the centre of Valencia, Cullera and into the Port of Gandia!

Day 6 - Cullera to Albir = 92.6km

Day 6 of the ride, with a lot of mountains in front of us. Feeling a lot better today. Soooo tired and in pain yesterday. Early night in bed and slept like a log so much better this morning. A couple of pain killers and I am on the bike again today. Please please God, no rain today. We have to pass the mountain around the calle area today. Gavin joined us last night. Please if anyone is still to donate we appreciate anything you can give. I have gone through many tough times in my life, and this ride is coming near the top.

We are now a full team, Gavin has made it but still has to undergo more medical checks as soon as he returns to Gran Alacant! The car is currently at Benissa sitting at 225m above sea level! Rich, Rob and Karen are all heading downhill into Calpe whilst we are just waiting for Gavin to finish the final climb up to us.

From Left to Right: Full Team Gavin, Karen, Zara, Rob and Rich

Day 6 - Done and dusted! In one hit! No lunch or coffee break until the last hotel woohoo!!! 77kms completed with many mountains endured! Total mountain climb of 771mtrs with a highest level reached 275mtrs above sea level! Now having a well earned drink and menu del dia! Homeward bound tomorrow and our own beds at the end of it Yaay!!!!

Last night of off loading numerous bags and cases from car to room as well as bikes in elevators phew! One more loading session to go then home and straight in the washing machine for the wet bags of clothes!

Day 7 - Albir to Home = 62.6km

Day 7 is here at last. The sun is forecast to shine. It has been a very hard, difficult and dangerous journey. Cycling in the conditions sometimes on motorways with huge lorrys flying past, soaking you with the spray from the roads. I thought I would be exhausted by now, but feel really good. A few years ago I could not even cycle up the hill in Gran Alacant. Now I can climb the mountains and that feels great? Need my own bed and some rest time when I get back, but unfortunately have a lot of work to go back too. I have had a great time despite all that happened. Only makes you into a stronger person. Looking forward to arriving home. I hope we raise lots of money for the charity.

Nearly home!! Just stopped for coffee change of clothes - this time due to sweat not rain!

Car support at Urbanova beach! Waiting for riders to battle through Alicante!

Day 7 and Ride completed!!!! In Times Square having a fabulous lunch and well earned drink or two before home to shower and relaxxxxing baths and own beds tonight!!! Great life experience and memories to be proud of forever! Well done all what a Team we make!!

Eventually back home, what a difficult day it has been. The sun was shining at last but the wind was strong and blowing in our faces. Lots of hill climbing in these conditions after cycling for a week was not easy. Almost beat me today. So tired, in lots of pain and body black and blue. Managed to reach urbanova where the team was waiting. Thought I could not finish. Totally wiped out. Jill gave me a drink and some nuts. They all persuaded me to continue to Los Arenales where we stopped for a drink. Then managed to cycle to the supermarket where I had to get off the bike and push it the last few meters. I was so emotional when I pushed the bike in to Times Square where every one was waiting for me. I just sat down and started to cry. This has been one hell of a week. Please everyone out there if you have not already donated please try to do so now. This has been one difficult journey and I don’t want it to have been for nothing. We need to raise as much money as possible for the charity, please please donate.