3rd September 2014 – Alps Cycle a Success
A team of four triumphant cyclists finished their Alps challenge last month, with their last leg finishing at Airedale Hospital.
The group, which was made up of Christa Baldwin, 34, Kevin Wharton, 60, Ray Cryer, 66, and Kevin Owens, 60, took on the 1200 mile challenge to raise money for a number of charities, including Airedale NHS Foundation Trust’s Endoscopy Appeal.
The riders started their journey from a small village called Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in Provence, cycling through France and taking on the Alps, finishing in Zeebrugge in Belgium. The final leg of their trip saw them pulling up at Airedale Hospital, greeted by friends, family and members of staff.
Kevin Wharton said “The enormity of our ride did not sink in until the very first day cycling the first mountain, this was Mount Ventoux and took us nearly three hours.
“In total the ride took us 16 days, each day cycling from 8.30am until anywhere between 5pm and 7pm. It certainly took its toll on us all but luckily for the majority of the ride the weather was kind to us. However we did have a few days of torrential rain which made it dangerous, as well as miserable. The constant reminder of the four great causes we were raising money for kept us going, as well as support from family and friends – seven of Christa’s friends flew out to France to wave banners and cheer us on, which really gave us a boost.
“We would like to thank our fantastic support team, Darren Pighills and Maureen Wharton, who we would have not been able to complete such a challenge without.”
The team have raised over £5,000 for their four charities, which are Airedale Hospital’s Endoscopy Appeal, Breast Cancer Care, the Army Benevolent Fund soldiers charity and the Rotary Foundation.
Julie Blackburn, sister on the endoscopy unit at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said “We are so grateful for the team taking on such as enormous challenge to help raise money for our unit. They did a fantastic job and the money will go a long way to helping patients who visit the endoscopy unit.”