The 127 Mile Charity Bike Ride

Cycling the Leeds and Liverpool canal for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity

We began our 127 mile charity bike ride of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at the Leeds end, right in the City Centre. Amanda, our Operations Director dropped the four of us off in the minivan which was kindly donated to us by Burnt Tree Vehicle Hire. After a few publicity pictures we were off down the canal tow path completely unaware of what we were about to embark on!

After passing some great sites such as the Saltaire Mills in Bradford, it got to the stage that we all knew would come eventually. The nice tarmac path became dirt track and as soon as it did the weather took a turn for the worse. After briefly seeing a friend of Rich’s in Keighley, even the best mountain bikes in the group struggled to get through the muddy path to Skipton. When finally reaching Skipton Rich’s family and little brother were there to greet us, taking refuge under a bridge on the canal from the torrential downpour. Rich’s little brother Reuben said in reference to the rain, “You should have done this yesterday!” Which we couldn’t have agreed more with! We ourselves took refuge in a pub to formulate a plan.

The weather meant that our estimated time to cross this part of the tow path was unfortunately just not going to happen any more. A fellow group of cyclists travelling towards Liverpool told us how they were stopping over night in Burnley, 20 miles or so closer than our booked hotel in Chorley. We made a new plan and that was to get to Burnley, park the bikes up somewhere and get a taxi to the hotel in Chorley. After a good nights sleep, we got up and took a taxi back to Burnley were we left our bikes in the Talbot pub (the landlord was kind enough to allow us to leave them chained up behind the pub and trust us with the only key to the gate!)

And then we were off again for the second day. We had about 75-80 miles to do, and the track didn’t show any signs of getting any better at the start of the day. We ended the second day in Parbold with a pint in the Windmill Pub where Matt’s parents and little brother made a surprise appearance to wish us all luck and to sleep in the Red Lion hotel. And the discovery of Paul’s puncture.

The last day began with Jim from Whitesides flooring company who were doing some work on the Red Lion giving Paul a lift into the town to a bike shop to repair the puncture. Once we were all sorted we set off again for the final time to Liverpool. Matt rode the last 3 miles with a flat tyre to save time. And then we saw it, the Liver Building appeared in the distance and we were greeted outside it by Amanda, who after a a quick pint as we took it all in we set off back to Sheffield.

If you would like to help us with our grand total, you can still donate by clicking here!


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