14 brave employees from the Immunology team at UCB took on the challenge of raising monies for three charities – NASS, BritSpA and Arthritis Ireland – by attempting to cycle 160 miles coast to coast. The ride raised an incredible £6,236.67 for each charity. Kate, who was part of the team, shares their story.
Day 1 Workington to Kendal – 53 miles
The group left the harbour walls of Workington with grey clouds above. We headed into the winding lanes that lead to the foothills of the Cumbrian Mountains. As the rain came pouring down we encountered our first real challenge – The Whinlatter Pass standing over 350m above sea level. This brought home how the journey wasn’t going to be a “ride in the park,” with legs and lungs pumping and stamina pushed to the absolute limits. At the top we stopped for a water break before dropping down into the picturesque town of Keswick, passing Derwent Water, Thirlmire and Windermere. We eventually arrived at our evening’s destination in Kendal; the mood was quiet, reflective and anxiety started to kick in for Day 2. Body and soul went to bed searching for peace and recovery!
Day 2 Kendal to Scotch Corner – 60 miles
We set off in torrential wind and rain, and as we left Kendal we faced a challenging incline that reminded us all how unforgiving and tough this ride was turning out to be. We snaked our way in the driving rain through Sedbergh and Hawes in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and by mid-afternoon we saw the sun for the first time as we approached Richmond. We could also see in the distance the North Yorkshire Moors, the massive barrier we would have to conquer to get to our destination on our final day. We all landed safely at Scotch Corner for the evening. Exhaustion and spirits were lifted by all the good luck messages and donations we were receiving. This gave the whole team a real boost, reminding us all why we were doing this and the great charities we were aiming to support.
Day 3 Scotch Corner to Whitby – 57 Miles
We left Scotch Corner in beautiful sunshine and the first 20 miles or so were relatively gentle. We faced numerous inclines with that pushed the whole team to their limits but we were rewarded with the first sight of the East Coast Sea at the top, and we were able to enjoy the freewheeling descents into the historic town of Whitby. As each cyclist arrived at the final destination, great cheers and applause spontaneously erupted until the final rider completed. We celebrated as a team and reflected on the achievement and the monies we had raised for the great causes, all of this of course over some famous Whitby fish and Chips! We had done it…at last!
Following the team’s amazing challenge, we were delighted to accept a cheque from Kate at UCB. Thank you to each and every rider for your wonderful support, which will pay for over 3,000 people newly-diagnosed with AS to receive a copy of the information-packed AS Guidebook.