Selby Round Tablers Mark Hoggard and Neal Porter have completed a challenge they set for themselves in 2009, to bike across the country north south and east west.
In May 2009 the pair, with Neal’s son Jack, biked from the south to the north of the country when they tackled Lands End to John O’Groats a distance of 1,000 mile over 14 days.
Now, with the opening of the Way of the Roses cycle route, they have biked from the west to the east when, this month they covered the distance of 170 miles from Morecambe and Bridlington in 2 days.
The Way of the Roses cycle route uses minor roads, tracks and cycle paths and can be ridden on road bikes.
Neal, a director with Crombie Wilkinson solicitors in Selby town explained, “the route passes through the Lune Valley and then up and over into the Dales and on across the Wolds. It passes through some spectacular scenery and despite reaching speeds of up to 40 mph on some of the downhill sections, we spotted quite a lot of the wildlife including deer, red kites and curlews”.
The route at just 170 miles may not seem much of a challenge but the first 75 miles involves some very stiff climbs and the route overall involves a total of 2,800 metres of climbs. That’s just about the same as biking up Ben Nevis twice. We covered 75 miles on the first day from Morecambe through Lancaster, Settle, Pateley Bridge and stopping at Ripon and then 95 miles on the second day through York, Pocklington, Driffield and on to the finish in Bridlington”.
Mark commented “the signing of the route which uses the red and white roses of Lancashire and Yorkshire is really good along the whole route and it would be very difficult to wander off the route.” Mark whose family are from the Wolds was very pleased that the route took him right past his brother’s home in Huggate where the pair stopped for a welcome mug of tea.
The pair raised over 500.00 for Whizz Kidz, a charity that provides disabled children and young people with vital mobility equipment, opportunities to meet and have fun, and training to help them gain skills and look forward to a bright future. They were helped in their efforts by Selby Round Table and from Barclays Bank and not least by their wives Sue Porter and Margo Hoggard who met the pair along the route with hot drinks, flap jack and ointment for sore parts!
So, once the saddle soreness has eased a bit, what will the next challenge be for the pair? Neal commented “having now biked up and down and across the county and having walked John O’Groats to Lands End in my 20’s the obvious challenge is the Coast to Coast walk made famous by Alfred Wainwright”.
Mark adds “There are plenty of great cycle routes still to tackle and I’m sure that we will be on our bikes again and maybe even try to tackle the Way of the Roses one day”. Neal shakes his head slowly remembering the huge 1:3 hill out of Settle!!