Three members of staff from our Wales office have completed a charity bike ride, cycling the 220+ miles to London, and raising money and smiles along the way.
The trio from Vizolution have raised over £2,000 for LATCH, a Welsh-based charity that supports children suffering from cancer, by cycling from our office in Port Talbot to our London office in Notting Hill.
Leighton Sparkes, Robin Betts and Jonathon Gibbs set out from Port Talbot on Sep 15, and cycled 70 miles on average per day, arriving at our London offices, one day ahead of schedule on Sep 17.
The trio had varying levels of biking skills but weren’t daunted by the challenge. Despite Leighton only ever having cycled 60 miles in one day before, and requiring a few rest days after, the approximately 220-mile distance didn’t put him off.
Jonathon had experience in extreme feats of endurance having completed half-marathons, Olympic-distance triathlons and long-distance cycling, and Robin was used to doing bike-based challenges but admitted he hasn’t done anything serious since 2012. “I want to see if I can still hack it after about three years off my bike following the birth of my daughter!
“We’re trying to avoid too many hills, although that’s quite tricky in Wales!” Leighton told us. “But we’ll do around 70 miles a day and will be staying with friends or doing a bit of camping along the way.”
“It all went really well,” said Leighton. “We passed through some beautiful countryside and quaint little villages, and it brought home how green and pleasant our land is. We had plenty of encouragement from various strangers on-route to keep us motivated!”
The journey wasn’t totally without incident, however, with a puncture on Day 1 and sizeable (Grade 4) hills, particularly in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, to contend with on Day 2.
“We started to relax once we got on the final leg in London, travelling along the Thames, through Richmond Park and Holland Park, and when we arrived at the London office in Notting Hill, we felt a real sense of achievement and were grateful for the warm welcome and cold refreshments. The icing on the cake was seeing so many people donate so generously!” added Leighton.
The cycling trio raised a total of £1,301.50, far in excess of their £750 target, and, as agreed, Vizolution contributed a further £750, bringing the grand total to £2,051.50.
Bill Safran, CEO of Vizolution said: “I’m very proud of the initiative taken by Leighton, Robin and Jonathon, and happy to discover they had a great time along the way! I was also impressed with how much money was raised and want to thank everybody who donated.”
“We’re very excited to be involved with Latch Children’s Cancer Charity and as a company, we recognise the importance of giving back to our community and encourage all members of our staff to take part in charitable events.”
The charity bike ride follows on from the £900 the company raised for Air Ambulance Wales last year through various fund-raising activities, including cake sales and fancy-dress days.