The Magnificent Seven-Seat Bike Challenge for Cancer
A core group of 14 riders that all met at University back in the late 90s and have kept in touch ever since got together at the end of May to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest John o’ Groats to Land’s End journey on a seven-seater conference bike. The current Guinness World Record set in 2010 by a team of 194 people took 28 days, 8 hours and 27 minutes.
The seven-seater conference bike allows everyone to sit socially facing inwards in a circle with six people pedalling and the seventh person at the back steering. The bike weighs a hefty 200kg without riders and has a reported top speed of 47 miles per hour going downhill! The teams were hoping to complete the 1,000 miles from the north coast of Scotland down to the beaches of Cornwall in just seven days with 14 participants.
The University friends aimed to split into two non-stop pedalling teams of seven people and take turns to ride and rest in eight hour shifts. Matthew Belmonte, Colin Bolton, Graham Hunter, Andy Nesling, Mike Summerfield, Nick Tanner and Hugh Williamson formed Team 1, whilst Paul Berry, Nic Burridge, Richard Falconer, Ed Greig, Jeff Kapp, Tony Payne and Mark Wilson made up Team 2.
Andy Nesling, whose family live in Fairford, said: “We are raising money for the charity ‘Cyclists Fighting Cancer’ to help children with cancer and hope to complete this crazy challenge in just one week setting of at 10am on May 22 and hoping to finish by 2pm on May 28 with a target to raise around £20,000.”
Jeff Kapp suggested raising money for the riders’ chosen charity, as he has had experience of the positive benefits that cycling can have during cancer treatment and has been supporting ‘Cyclists Fighting Cancer’ for years.
Jeff explained the difficult logistics behind the challenge: “It has been difficult finding places to stay en route that will allow seven sweaty cyclists to arrive at 11 o’clock at night to rest and then swap over with another seven sweaty cyclists at 6 o’clock in the morning to sleep through the day!”
The challenge, which was the brainchild of team member Colin Bolton, was successfully completed seven hours ahead of schedule at 7am on the morning of May 28 and their fundraising total currently stands at just over £20,000!
Although totally exhausted, a few members of the fundraising group then went on to take part in the 5k Land’s End Parkrun to help raise even more money.
If you would like to donate to support ‘Cyclists Fighting Cancer’, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joglebyconferencebike.