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COOLSPIRiT Charity Champions

Written on: Jul 21, 2022 10:28:29 AM

Written by: Elizabeth Reed



It's been a fantastic month of charity fundraising for the COOLSPIRiT team.

Last week, Dominic Collins, Alex Raben and I participated in "The Great Gamma Cycle Challenge" which involved a concerted effort from three groups of intrepid cyclists, each undertaking one of three routes: Glasgow to Manchester on 12th July, Manchester to Newbury on 13th July, and lastly, Newbury, southbound to Portsmouth and back up to London on 14th July. Totalling 943km and a 9500m ascent, this was a tough but rewarding ride, with all proceeds raised going towards UNICEF - a fantastic charity dedicated to protecting and uplifting the lives of the most disadvantaged children globally.

We elected to take on the final route from Newbury to London, comprising 221km - split into several smaller legs. Rising bright and early, we joined our fellow cyclists at the Newbury office. After cheering on the first group as they set off, the rest of us boarded the coach and journeyed to our starting point. Some 62km later, our group was up next and so we powered through the 24km stretch to the Port Solent office. While the following groups pedalled northwards to London, our group enjoyed the kind hospitality of the XNRG team, tucking into a well-earned lunch. Several hours quickly passed and it was time to tackle the final leg of the day which was a whopping 56km.

Having completed our first leg with relative ease, I felt somewhat confident about this last leg, although the distance was still pretty intimidating. What I failed to factor in, however, was that we were due to pass through the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. While it was certainly beautiful, the scenery didn't distract from the unbearably steep and seemingly never-ending hills. Had it not been for the wisdom and encouragement from one of the guides who stuck by me throughout the worst of the hills, I would have admitted defeat.

Once we had cleared the hills and hit the flat roads of London, the last 25km or so were very pleasant as we rode through the suburbs and into the city. Although, a word of caution - be wary of the buses, but most importantly of all, the pigeons. Having just recovered from a close encounter in which I very nearly became the filling in a London bus and impatient car sandwich, I was almost knocked off my bike by a rogue pigeon who dared to jump in front of my wheels. My brushes with danger aside, we soon reached the London office, marking the finish line for our epic journey. I can safely say my colleagues and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and we are immensely proud to have been part of an effort that has raised over £16,000 for charity at the time of writing.

However, a special shout out is much-needed for our ultimate charity champion of the month, Alex Raben, who just the week prior had managed a 28 mile hike across the Peak District, including a climb of Kinder Scout, alongside Warren Wheatcroft and one of our fantastic customers. Fundraising for Rescue Kitties, the team have raised over £1,100 which will go towards helping the stary and vulnerable cats and kittens of Greater Manchester.

If you would like to contribute to either of these great causes, you can do so by clicking on the following links:

The Great Gamma Cycle in aid of UNICEF

Fundraising Hike for Rescue Kitties

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