Climate Explorers

Day 8 – From Chaos to Calm: Bike Fixes and Friendly Faces

After surviving the majority of the trip without rain, we certainly got our fair share today. From the moment we woke up the downpour didn’t let up, making for a tough start and some very wet tents! With the torrential rain, Sal made the decision to hold off getting on her bike to recover a bit more from her injuries. We would much rather her finish with the team than be unable to ride at all!

The disaster of yesterday has left everyone a little on edge, but by 9am the flat tyre on the support vehicle was mended, leaving us with the mess that was Isaac’s bike to sort out. Luckily for us, the team were meeting up with Chris Spray from Kelsall Cycles later on, who kindly offered to look at the team’s bikes as they passed through Chester. With the problems on the mend we got on with the day, looking forward to the two exciting interviews ahead. When stressed and tired what do we do…? We EAT! And our cyclists were certainly working up an appetite after the rushed rainy morning. There is only so much food you can have at 6am, so here they are tucking in to a nice full english with heaps of coffee. That kept them going for the next hour…

The team (minus Sal) tucking into a hearty breakfast in Preston. Photo Credits: Amber Jade

Sal took the lead on the interviews today, saving the remaining cyclists some time to enjoy their very rainy cycle and make it to the campsite earlier than scheduled. The first interview put us in Byron Hall Woods, where we met with local MP James Grundy to discuss the controversial building of HS2 in the well-loved woodland area. HS2 is a high-speed rail being built between London and Birmingham cutting through crucial community woodlands. James was joined by a group of locals who are against the railway, upset as HS2 will rip apart the environmental work the community had been doing to extend and protect the woodland. Worryingly this is only the first phase of the project, so if so much stress has already been put on the natural landscape, what more is there to come?

Crowd gathered at the HS2 interview with MP James Grundy. Photo taken by support crew.

As Sal was chatting away, the cyclists were joined by Chris Spray, co-owner of Kelsall Cycle Shop and co-founder of the Mind Over Mountains charity. Alongside his friend Mike Speers, Chris set up the coffee and repair shop over lockdown to offer local cyclists a riding pit stop and place to fix any cycling mishaps! Alongside Alex Staniforth, Chris founded Mind Over Mountains which combines hill-climbing and mindfulness, embracing the mental benefits of nature alongside a group of people you have never met. We have a podcast with Mind Over Mountains and they are still hosting these incredible walks so please take a minute to find out more.

Our cyclists with the incredible team at Kelsall Cycles. Photo Credits: Amber Jade

Now nearing the campsite, the team stopped at Kelsall Cycle’s where Sal had already started the second interview of the day with Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Cottages. Graham had a lot to say about the responsibility he has as a CEO to run his business as sustainably as possible. Using the B-Corp protocols, Graham is pushing for positive change in his business and sees it as his role to ensure this is put through, making himself liable. This mindset is one many leaders in business choose to hand-off, so hearing Graham’s perspective was refreshing and hopeful. Once the interview was over, we all tucked into some ice cream, cake and coffee while Chris and his team had a look over the cyclists bikes (particularly Isaac’s destroyed hanger!). After over a week of cycling the team’s bikes have really been put to the test, and we cannot thank Chris and the team at Kelsall for their help!

Interview with Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Cottages. Photo Credits: Amber Jade

Once the bikes had been given a new lease of life, the cyclist headed for camp. Tonight’s stay was at the Durham Heifer Cafe and Campsite and we were truly overwhelmed again by the generosity of our hosts. If the sight of a shower wasn’t enough, Chris, Rebecca and Maddie offered our team a delicious curry to warm us from the rain. There couldn’t have been bigger smiles all round and we truly cannot thank them enough. Hearing and feeling the support for our cause makes the journey worth while and we find hope in the numbers of people who align with the Pedal 4 Parks mission to recognise the importance of the UK’s green spaces. 

A happy team outside The Durham Heifer with our wonderful hosts Rebecca and Maddie. Photo Credits: Amber Jade

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Check out our most recent blogs…

Day 4: Mountains and Gravel Path Madness: Lock Morlich to Lock Tay

Day 5 – From Park to Park: The Cairngorms to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

Day 6/7 – Leaving Scotland: City Cycling and Disaster in the Lakes

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Emily Murrell (Instagram – Twitter – LinkedIn)