September 7-8: White Lodge to White Cliffs – Chertsey to Dover

Sunshine, stolen bikes, hen parties and heroism – this ride had everything!

The second White Lodge to White Cliffs cycle challenge for White Lodge Centre was a lot of fun. The weather was great for both days and, despite a huge variance in ages and abilities, everyone was happy to work as a team. In fact, spirit among the guys was fantastic and there were plenty of laughs all weekend.

The team included Simon Barker, doing the ride for a second time after, perhaps rashly, promising Ride2Raise Director Richard that he’d do it again, but without getting in the car this time. But true to his word, that’s exactly what he did, giving everything and refusing to walk, let alone get in the car, even on the long climb of Box Hill. So well done Simon!

Then there were the youngsters Ross, Ben and Robbie, who loved the idea of the support vehicle and all the pro-team trimmings. They all spent an inordinate amount of time with hands off the bars practising their victory salutes or checking themselves out in shop windows.

In fact, they were so keen to see how good they looked that Ross took some time setting up a video camera on the roof of our Land Rover Discovery support vehicle. Unfortunately he set it up on the sun roof which when opened meant he got 30 minutes of me scratching my nose, drinking water and singing along to a CD. Probably not the footage he was hoping for.

Other highlights included Robbie falling into a hedge, Ben having a run in with a lady who mistakenly thought he’d defaced her village sign (it’s a long story!), the hen party who took a fancy to our team in the hotel and a nice visit from White Lodge Director Lesley Robbins.

The only sour moment was the Ride2Raise team bike being stolen from the locked bike rack of the support vehicle on the Friday lunch stop. But I’m over that now. Honestly I am. Really.

The ride eventually finished in Dover with sunshine and champagne rather than the rain and tea of 2011 – and with glory for our intrepid riders. This is a great ride and route and an important event for a very important cause – and the 2012 team did themselves and the White Lodge Centre proud.

Finally a huge thanks to Adrian Mann. Not only did he help promote the event and recruit riders, but he was also our lead Ride Manager for the challenge, keeping the team safe and happy while they achieved their goals. His only disappointment was the lack of interest the hen party took in him at the hotel!

Photos and a video from the ride can be found here.

White Lodge Centre provides activities and opportunities for disabled people of all ages, for their families and for carers. More information on the very special work they do can be found at www.whitelodgecentre.co.uk

Riders

Simon Barker, Ross Johnson, Robbie Ventham, Ben Ventham.

Support Team

Richard King, Adrian Mann.

Ride Diary

Richard King

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