NVS Depot 2 Depot Charity Challenge – the result!

NVS Depot 2 Depot Charity Challenge

You may remember our  daring group of staff who set themselves the challenge to cycle from our Mildenhall Depot to the NVS Head Office in Stoke-on-Trent to raise money for charity.

L-R back Steve Williams, Danny Roberts, Martin Riley, Peter Cronin, John Kay Steve Holley (front) Simon Hackney

The team successfully completed the 174 mile ride over the August Bank Holiday weekend, arriving at Head Office mid-afternoon on Tuesday 28th August, to a welcoming cheer from Head Office staff!

Steve Holley (Orderline Manager), John Kay (Senior Buyer), Martin Riley (Managing Director),  Danny Roberts (Fulfilment Services Manager), Steve Williams (Operations Director) and Sales and Marketing Director Peter Cronin, all undertook the journey with varying degrees of previous experience, from John Kay, a seasoned distance cyclist to Martin Riley who said “not bad given I only trained for about 2 hours beforehand!”

John  Kay kept a record of the evernts of those few hard days for those of us not brave enough to take part ourselves. Here’s his diary:

Sunday 26th August

We met up at NVS for the 150 miles journey to Mildenhall early in the morning. With everything loaded we set off in mostly high spirits with an air of nerves from some of the team. However we made quick progress driving towards good weather and even managed a small beer on the bus followed by an Olympic breakfast to set us up for the return journey.

Having changed in to the shameful lycra and team colours, we checked the bikes over and headed out for the first day just before 1pm. Ahead lay 60 miles of quiet country lanes through Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. We soon managed to find a steady pace and we got to Peterborough within a few hours.

Getting around the ring road and faster A road proved to be a bit of a challenge, but once we had cleared this we found the campsite. We quickly finished setting up the tents that Simon had started to erect and made our way to Fratelli’s in Castor for fine steaks, pizza and free desserts. We also got a bonus cheque from the manager towards the charities and a cracking rendition of Nessun Dorma!

Monday 27th August

The longest day of the ride started with Simon’s interesting camp side breakfast of tuna and sweetcorn pasta followed by handfuls of chocolate and energy drinks.

Following a similar course of quiet country lanes we made slower progress, but had to climb bigger hills than we thought and with the elements changing for the worse as the day went on. Having not enjoyed the ring roads and faster A roads around Peterborough we headed in to the city centre to get through Leicester. We expertly navigated our way through without losing our way or each other and got back into the countryside lanes safely.

Finally with an hour to go the heavens opened and we arrived at the camp site just south of Swadlincote soaking wet, but triumphant at our 70 miles completed and one short day left to go back to NVS Talke ahead of us.

The team relax before another hard day on the road

Tuesday 28th August

After a night of heavy rain we woke up to find a totally different day of weather lay ahead for our final day in the saddle. We packed up quickly and headed out into Derbyshire, Staffs Moorlands and Stoke; the team now having to re-find the hill climbing skills they didn’t know they had for the last 40 plus miles back to the depot.

Once we were inside the boundary of Stoke on Trent the speed soon picked up with the finish line in site and we arrived back just after lunch to a grand reception of NVS and Dechra staff and a welcome rest from the saddles that felt a part of us all by now.

In Summary

A total of 174 miles cycling, 13 hours in the saddle and 8’500 feet of hills climbed. Endless gels, drinks and chocolate bars. No punctures and only 4 very low speed falls (names withheld!)

Well done to all the cyclists on raising a total of £3071.35 for The Donna Louise Trust and TAMBA (Twin and Multiple Birth Association) If you would like to donate to this great cause there’s still time,  please visit www.justgiving.com/nvsdtdchallenge.  All contributions are gratefully received.

Thanks to Agria Pet insurance for sponsoring the shirts.