A group of cyclists have completed a five day Italian cycling challenge in support of a local hospice.
35 cyclists have together cycled over 400 miles from Venice to Rome in celebration of St Elizabeth Hospice’s 30th anniversary, raising over £50,000 for the charity.
The cyclists started their challenge in Venice on Tuesday 10 September and left south from the city, passing the canals and bicycle friendly streets to Ravenna. Day two of the challenge invited the team to travel 74 miles and climb into the National Park of Monte San Bartolo before reaching the popular seaside resort of Pesaro.
On day four, the cyclists endured a tough climb across the picturesque countryside to walled city of Gubbio. The following day the team set off to Lake Di Corbara before heading onto Viterbo. The final part of the journey took the team 69 miles to their final destination, the Colosseum in Rome on Sunday 15 September.
Joanne Rodger, events and challenges manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “I’m so proud of the team for completing this tough but beautiful cycling challenge.
“After the success of London to Paris in 2019, we wanted to give cycling supporters of the hospice the opportunity to take on an even bigger challenge.
“The challenge proved to be extremely tough at times, but the team battled through the 35 degree heat, steep climbs and long rides. The beautiful scenery made it all worth it and everyone spoke about how their thoughts of the hospice kept them going through difficult moments.”
Mike Kingshott, a keen cyclist from Woodbridge says the cycling event offered a real challenge to him in comparison to the flat terrain of Suffolk. Mike said: “As a keen cyclist and member of Ipswich Bicycle club, the opportunity to ride through some of the Italian mountains doing something I love while raising money for the hospice in memory of my brother, was something I just could not turn down!
Mike prepared for the challenge by cycling to work, extending his commutes as well as cycling 200 miles around Norfolk in one day this summer. Mike said: “In the run up to the event we as a team received a great amount of support and the camaraderie between the team was amazing.
On finishing the ride, Mike said: “The ride was even better than I expected. After two days of mainly flat riding, the mountains started with a vengeance. Days three, four and five were very long and tough as we were climbing in the heat.
“The support from all riders and the event organisers was amazing, lots of people had a story to tell of their connections with the hospice and there was always someone around to pick you up during the tough times.
“The whole ride was an emotional roller-coaster from start to finish but the overall feeling of achieving something quite special whilst giving something back to help those who need it most was incredible. I have made lots of new friends and have many special memories that will remain with me forever. I cannot wait for the next event!”
If this story has inspired you to take on a challenge of a lifetime in aid of the hospice, please contact our fundraising team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01473 723600.