If you missed the previous North to South Wales ride, or you fancy doing it again you’ll be pleased to know that it is happening again this September.
Zoe Hunter took part in the Tenovus Cancer Care North to South Cycle earlier this year. She joined 19 other riders to take on the 230-mile challenge to help raise money to support cancer patients in Wales.
“As many of my family and friends had been affected by cancer, and I’ve spent many years working as a nurse in cancer care, I wanted to raise funds for Tenovus Cancer Care and at the same time take on a personal challenge.
In November 2016 I attended the information evening about the Tenovus Cancer Care’s North to South Wales bike ride. I love cycling down the Taff Trail on a sunny day (ideally with a breakfast or pub stop) but I’d never contemplated anything of this distance before.
The information evening was great – Ian from the support team made it seem possible even for someone like me and I realised this was the only way I could attempt such a challenge – with a support van never far away! First off, I got a new, lighter bike – not megabucks by any means, and I made friends with my local bike shop who helped me no end over the coming weeks. I got off the cycle paths and onto the roads and cycled to work when the weather permitted. Friends and family joined me and yes, we still did the breakfast or pub stops!
Time was tight and it was winter but it’s amazing what you can do once you have a goal. When the weather was too cold or wet, I retreated to the gym and also started spin classes which I thoroughly enjoyed.
On more than one occasion I seriously doubted my ability to complete the challenge (I was too slow, not fit enough etc.) but I talked to Mhairi at Tenovus Cancer Care and also Ian from the support team. They encouraged me to keep going, and although I didn’t quite reach the recommended training distance (70 miles on back-to-back days) I thought it’s now or never. So, 19 of us between the ages of 26 and 60 set off on a wet and windy weekend in March to cycle from Llandudno to Cardiff.
The bike ride was amazing and I loved every minute of it! Despite the challenge of the weather, the experience of riding in a group with full support, regular hot coffee and snacks through the amazing countryside of Wales was a wonderful experience.
The whole route is incredible, but the stretch from Porthmadog through to Barmouth, Machynlleth and Aberystwyth really stood out for me. On the Saturday night in Aberystwyth, tired and aching, we were all uplifted by the local Tenovus Cancer Care choir. This was very emotional as it underlined exactly why we were doing the challenge. On Sunday, the ride was cut short due to high winds but we still came over the beautiful Brecon Beacons to arrive back in Cardiff, with family and friends there to welcome us home.
To anyone contemplating such a challenge – you will get fit, have an amazing weekend and raise vital funds for Tenovus Cancer Care in their work to support cancer patients and their families. And remember, the people you’re doing it for will be with you in spirit, all the way.”
By Zoe Hunter
The Tenovus Cancer Care North to South Wale Cycle takes place 8th – 10th September 2017. If you’d like to find out more there is a free Info Night on Thursday 15th June at Pedal Power, Cardiff. Register your place here, or call 029 2076 8850.
We’ve also added both the information night and the ride to our events calendar, to remind you.