After finishing our 9-5 on Friday, we all headed to Portsmouth and after a short ferry trip we got to the Isle of Wight. All of us had every weather report up on our phone in the hope that the forecast of rain, rain and more rain may be a slight exaggeration but alas all the forecasts predicted a wet Saturday ahead. Waking up on Saturday to glorious sun was a miracle... Clearly everyone had been praying to the weather Gods or doing the sun dance in their rooms but whatever it was it worked.
After breakfast we headed off on our trek with the kids. The hike along the roads was fine but then we hit the last mile through woodland and that was precarious to say the least with muddy slopes and boggy ditches but somehow with relatively few injured derrières we made it to The White Lion pub for a spot of lunch and cooling beverages. The cyclists were getting ready for their 45mile cycle-fest and thankfully the sun was still out and spirits were high. Armed with their BB water bottles, essential bags of Haribos and the determination of a squirrel hoarding nuts, our cyclists headed on their way. Within a few minutes they faced their first big steep hill and little did they know that it was the first of many. After mastering that killer hill everyone rode on towards The Needles. After a brief snack stop everyone was off again and the sun was still shining :) The cycle was very challenging - not just the hilly route but also riding with cars speeding past and the odd inconsiderate driver but our cyclists soldiered on. An hour before the end of the route suddenly the clouds turned grey and it became very cold and windy. Then it happened... Fat rain droplets started falling and gathering speed and before long everyone was cold and their limbs on the verge of seizing up. Knowing that the end was in sight motivated everyone to keep on going and not give up... after all we had been lucky with the weather and knowing that all their family and friends had sponsored them was the driving force through the horrid wet and cold weather.
Well you will all be pleased to know that to date this Bike and Hike has raised over £19,000 with more contributions still coming in. This money will enable us to buy some bicycles and distribute them to children who would otherwise have to walk for hours to school. We're also setting up a facility to teach children English as a way to encourage communication, and keep up the work that we are currently doing.