People have many different reasons for undertaking a challenge such as Ride to the Somme. Here are some of the rider stories from the 2016 Ride.
I began cycling back in March 2016 at the time I was suffering from severe depression following the sudden death of my father.
I saw the Ride to the Somme advertised and noticed that the final day’s ride was on Sept 3 which was the first anniversary of me burying my father and I couldn’t think of a better thing to do in his memory.
I thought it would be a case of jumping on your bike and riding but I was wrong – this was far more than a ride. I have never felt so much compassion from and for people that I have literally just met, from the emotional support to the physical support plus the logistical support, it it really was a life changer for me and I will never forget the people that I met on this journey.” – Julie Porter
An unforgettable experience for cyclists of all abilities.
An emotional and memorable journey to the Somme superbly organised and supported every mile of the journey.
If there is one challenge you set yourself in your life then ride to the Somme.
You will find friends for life and be able to pay your utmost respect to the fallen in the Great War.” – Dave Bickel
Riding to the Somme was one of the most amazing things I have achieved. Having been a keen cyclist for many years, finding a new challenge was never far from the agenda of pushing my limits.
I am an ex-serviceman and wanted to remember my great grandfather who fought on the Somme. The sense of being together through this physical and emotional few days was not only humbling but character building.
Visiting the resting places of the soldiers was an honour to pay respect to these brave men of The Great War. The experience was all the more meaningful to be with such special people.
This is an experience I will never forget. Thanks to all.” – Gaz Williams
What a challenge, what fun, what an experience and well worth the effort for such a worthwhile charity. It was an achievement I and some of the others thought beyond us, having never ridden much more than 50 miles in a day.
To me it was, at moments, “a bridge too far” but I/we did it and have huge pride in our success. The Ride to the Somme 2016 mixed cycling challenges and a wonderful and emotional trip to the Somme battlefields.
We all learnt a great deal and met some amazing and inspiring people, it was a memorable trip with highs and lows and is etched in all our memories.” – Ian Talbot
SSAFA is a charity close to my heart as a former Royal Marine, and I fancied a bit of a physical challenge so I signed up. The idea was that it would then force me to get out and train more and enjoy some time on the bike.
In this, I failed spectacularly. By the time we came to ride, the furthest I had ridden in a single day was 35 miles and that had been three months earlier. I was therefore ill at ease when the first day started, convinced I was going to struggle to do 80 miles a day for three consecutive days.
The fact that I not only made it to the end, but actually enjoyed the whole experience, is testimony to the superb organisation and running of the event, as well as the brilliant way in which the team captains managed all the riders on the road. Collectively, the spirit among all the riders was incredible.
I regard the Ride to the Somme as one of the highlights of my life. A real bucket list moment ticked off. Many thanks to everyone that was involved.” – Chris Paton