End to end pedal power beats rain

AFTER cycling 900 miles – mostly in the pouring rain – a Godmanchester couple have raised more than £2,000 to help children in the Philippines. Jane and Andrew Fasham, who are both in their early 60s, cycled from Land s End to John O Groats during May – t

AFTER cycling 900 miles - mostly in the pouring rain - a Godmanchester couple have raised more than £2,000 to help children in the Philippines.

Jane and Andrew Fasham, who are both in their early 60s, cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats during May - the rainiest month of the year so far.

The money they raised will be donated to Jigaw Kids Ministries, a charity helping street and slum children and their families in Manila.

The ride, completed in memory of their son who died in a swimming accident, was no easy task. On the first full day, completely soaked, the couple went completely wrong, cycling four miles up a steep hill before realising their error.


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"It was raining so hard that we slept in the campsite laundry that night - it was too wet to start putting up the tent and we were the only ones in the campsite," Mrs Fasham said.

And still it continued raining.

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"On the first Sunday, after crossing the Severn Bridge, we experienced torrential rain all day," she continued.

"At Monmouth we made hot chicken rolls in the local supermarket and then spent over two hours in a coffee shop trying to warm up and hoping the rain would reduce in intensity. It didn't, so we cycled on to Hereford.

"There was no campsite there, so we spent the night in a motel, drying out clothes with a hair dryer. It was complete luxury eating in the restaurant and having a hot bath."

After that, they pressed on regardless. "Over the next few days, we enjoyed cycling along remote Shropshire lanes in spite of the showers."

Mr Fasham added: "Rain seemed to be our constant companion on the 900-mile journey."

The weather improved once the couple reached Scotland.

"It was dry and sunny but cold - we didn't take our coats off once. Some of the scenery in the Highlands was spectacular," said Mrs Fasham.

"One day, we stopped at a fishing hotel for some proper coffee and a piece of shortbread, which we ate in front of a lovely log fire.

"We continued cycling along a loch and a river, where the water was sparkling in the sun and the banks were lined with pale yellow primroses. What made it even better was having a slightly downhill slope so that with a tail wind, we were bombing along at 20 miles an hour."

The ride was done in memory of the couple's son, John, a doctor and former Hinchingbrooke pupil who died, aged 25, in a swimming accident in New Zealand in February 2005.

John and his older brother David had also completed the ride for the same charity.

Mrs Fasham said: "It was sad because the last time we did that ride, John had come to meet us - but along the way we met some interesting

people who encouraged us and people who we were able to encourage. The answer to 'would we do it again?' is definitely no, but we are pleased we made it end to end."

INFORMATION: Anyone who would like to donate to Jigsaw Kids Ministries should send a cheque to: 21 Matthew Lane, Meltham Holmfirth, HD9 5JS.

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