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Together for 30 Sponsored Bike Ride

In the last weekend of September I joined up with some of the people who use our service to complete a sponsored bike ride. They’d set themselves the daunting task of cycling 36 miles as part of Your Voice Counts’ for their Together for 30 challenge.

We met at 9.30 at South Hylton Metro station, just outside of Sunderland, and our route took us through Chester Le Street, up the hill to Stanley, Consett, and down into Gateshead. There were a team of 8 of us, some experienced cyclists, and some of us who hadn’t picked up a bike in several years! The weather was perfect for a bike ride, warm without being hot and with no stiff breeze to contend with. We made steady progress over the opening few mile as we passed Penshaw Monument and headed towards Chester Le Street and set a gentle pace which meant there was plenty of time to chat and enjoy the scenery. As we started to pull up through Stanley the pace quickened and the more confident cyclists started to pull away.

We soon realised that our planned 36 mile route was going to be a bit ambitious for some of us, so we split into two groups and made the decisions that a smaller group of us would retrace our route back into Chester Le Street. After a short pit stop in Stanley, we arrived at Chester Le Street train station having completed a solid 20 miles; a real achievement for some of the guys who, by their own admission, were a bit out of shape! A quick phone call to the train operator to check we could get 4 bikes on the train (and a last second change of carriages that meant two of us nearly got left on the platform!) and we were heading into Newcastle ready for change of trains back to South Tyneside. Word came in as we were travelling that the other group had made to Gateshead Metrocentre to complete their challenge, a superb effort!

The only down side for me, was that having had a lift to South Hylton on the morning I was left with a 5 mile journey back home…all uphill! It did mean that my final total for the day was 25 miles which has meant that I’ve doubled to total that I set myself for my own Together for 30 challenge.

A massive thank you and well done to Anthony, David, Michael, Shaun, and Barry for taking the time to support Your Voice Counts, and a big thank you to Amy and Nathan for organising the day so well, and planning route. Final thanks to Tony and Cory for manning our very own support vehicle.

You can find out more about our Together for 30 campaign, about my challenge, and about how you can support us by following the links below:

- Dave Woolley, CEO


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