Pier to Pier Bike Ride
George Pitcher (aged 13) and myself (his Dad, Mike) completed our 320 mile Pier to Pier (West to East coast) cycle challenge on Saturday 15th April, arriving at Southwold Pier to a warm welcome from my immediate family from Wales; as well as my brother Simon Pitcher and his daughter Hilary, my parents David and Helen, some friends and the helpful staff of Southwold Pier.
We had set off from our home town of Aberystwyth on our epic adventure exactly a week earlier on Saturday 8th April, to raise money and awareness for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, both of which helped George’s cousin following diagnosis of a rare type of bone cancer in his femur.
We were amazingly lucky with the weather the whole way, with plenty of sunshine, no rain and the wind generally behind us. We also had wonderful support along the route from the people we met – with several of the campsites waiving the fee, including High Town House Campsite, near Rattlesden on our last night. Another highlight was the slap-up tea provided by Southwold Pier for us all at the end.
We stuck to minor roads wherever possible, and enjoyed discovering beautiful parts of England and Wales off the beaten track; as well as some famous towns, such as Stratford Upon Avon and Cambridge. Our map reading worked well until we hit Suffolk! Threading our way through Western Suffolk, south of Bury St Edmunds to Stowmarket was stunningly pretty but our biggest navigational challenge – we got lost several times. Our bikes did not let us down, with our only puncture of the trip 1 mile from the finish, at Walberswick!
All in all it was a great success. George did fantastically well and I am very proud of him, and so far our family fundraising has raised over £5,000 to support the amazing work of the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.
The challenge is part of a bigger fundraising effort organised by George’s aunt Suzy and her friend Debbie, who will be cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in June.