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Ride 4 Ryan

Date: Sunday, July 18, 2010

Venue: Ashton Court Park and Ride

Dear all Friends, Family & NHSD Colleagues

Turner/Wade Team Ride4Ryan completed the Great Weston Ride 56 miles across the Mendips on Sunday 18th July.

We left home at 7.30 am and headed to Bristol – Long Ashton, setting-off cycling at 08.30 hrs – rather dull, cloudy and windy. We were surrounded by several hundred rather professional cyclists all “in the gear”!— and then us IN PINK.

The first 15 miles were quite hilly and then the drizzle came which was rather horrid – one minute you are cold and wet and then hot and wet the next!

The first 2 hours were the worst as constant inclines up, and very little down. Glasses fogged up and wet and we did over 2 hrs without stopping at all as it was too wet to stop. We stopped at the foot of Burrington Coombe for food and drink in the rain! Then we continued the 3 mile 6% climb- all achieving this on our bikes- and Nigel on his one speed 50 year old postman’s bike [all too easily actually] and Eleanor – my niece aged 12 got to the top first! The breeze and drizzle continued along the top.

Weather soon improved  and so did the terrain – all country lanes mostly flat. Nigel’s postman’s bike had a massive hooter on it which provided endless entertainment as he hooted at every passer by – a few near heart attacks.

Lunch stop outside the pub at Priddy- a quaint Mendips village, where Nigel’s parents met us with our food, drink & warm tops. We were halfway at this point at midday. A good carbo load for us all – and of course beer for Nigel!

Great route after this, down winding empty country lanes for miles, getting some real speed up [31mph] then it flattened out. Another couple of stops at Mark and then Burnham and legs at this stage especially on the 3 girls were starting to really ache – we were at about 45 miles now. Sun was out, so much warmer lower down and the beckoning sea gulls gave us a clue we were heading towards the sea and home!

Lovely quiet lanes into Weston completed the last 10 miles and with the end in sight with me relaying my milometer it got us all to the end with cheers and claps from the GWR team and fellow cyclists along the sea front.

Fantastic organisation from the GWR team, from signage along the way, no map needed at all, drink stops, marshals, excellent start and finish arrangements . Then our reward was free fish & chips and a ride on the Weston Eye free courtesy of the GWR organisers. We had maintained a 10.6mph all day average speed and it had taken 7 1/2 hours, we had needed several breaks to snack and drink.

The ride was exhausting, fun, tiring, aching, cramping, numbing and with lots of fun thrown in too but to quote Sophie “none of that matters because its all for Ryan” We haven’t planned, trained for and tirelessly gained sponsors for this event for any other reason except to raise money in memory of a charming, talented young sportsman –  Ryan Bresnahan who passed away suddenly from Meningitis on 31st March 2010 aged just 16. He was in our thoughts at many times over the day and our efforts are worth it when all of you have helped us reach our goal and exceed it.

The Ride4Ryan team of 7 has raised well over £2000 for Meningitis – to

help research and find a vaccine for this devastating disease. I would like to thank Aunty Penny, Jonathan and Eleanor & Sophie’s friend Ashby for their fantastic support and achievement on the day and gathering sponsors.

It just leaves me to say a huge big THANK YOU to YOU all for your support and generosity.

Check out our virgin website for everyone’s messages and keep an eye of Ryan’s site as our event, pictures and final amount raised will be on the “Life for a Cure” site in the next few weeks atwww.ryansbresnahan.org Nicky, Nigel, Sophie, Penny, Jonathan, Eleanor & Ashby

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