A team of cyclists from Honiton has raised more than £10,000 for two local charities by pedalling twice the distance from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
Father and son Neal and Matt Fulls and their friend Chris Pope took nine days to cycle the 1,000 miles from the tip of mainland Scotland to the most westerly point in Cornwall.
Back at the headquarters of the Moshulu footwear company in Honiton, 19 staff simultaneously covered the same distance on two static spinning bikes.
“We covered an average of 130 miles a day, thanks to a few wrong turns here and there, and back at HQ they were doing anything from half an hour to two hours at a time but I think they were as tired as we were,” said Neal, finance director of the family firm where Matt also works in the accounts department.
Keeping it local
They were all spurred on by the good causes they had chosen to support. The money will be split between FORCE, which has supported Chris’s family, and the Special Care Baby Unit at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
“The unit is close to our hearts as my youngest son, Lewis who’s now 10, was born 10 weeks premature and without SCBU he would not be with us today,” said Neal.
“It was important to us to support local charities because you can see exactly where the money is spent and the people it helps,” he added.
The Moshulu Spinners – Kate Sealey, Lottie Roberts, Darren Witt, Natalie Walters, Joanne Ford, Sammy-Jo Westwood, Robert Seymour, Bethan Veal, Maggie Spicer, Mitch Fletcher, Sam Hunt, Chris Grattan, Aidan Davies-Evans, Charlotte Sampson, Vicky Kowel, Morgan Leah, Matt Morgan, Shaun Fulls and Henry Hunt – kept the wheels turning in Honiton.
And Neal, Matt and Chris called in at Moshulu stores in Nantwich in Cheshire, Taunton and Truro on their way south.
Torrential rain and 70mph winds on day two of their challenge and the punishing hills of Devon and Cornwall on the final 12-hour stretch from Okehampton to the Land’s End were the toughest tests. The highlights were the amazing scenery and the welcome when they reached the finish.
“It was an emotional rollercoaster,” admits Neal. “It took us four days to work out the right regime for pain relief. We were in tears at times with pain shooting through our knees and backsides but we were OK once we got that sorted. We chose a north to south route because we wanted to finish nearer to home but the hills towards the end were relentless. The welcome we got was fantastic though. Thirty-odd people turned up to see us in at about six o’clock. There was champagne and a big meal in the evening. It was great.”
So would he do it again?
“NO! It was on my bucket list of things to do before I’m 50 and I’ve ticked that off but I’ve given everyone permission to hit me if I ever suggest trying it again,” said Neal.