Rockinghorse supporters’ epic road cycle

Richard, Mike and Darren began their cycle challenge at John O’Groats in Scotland.

Travelling 955 miles with just his trusty bike and two friends for company, Rockinghorse supporter, Richard Rutter, has been on quite a journey.

On Saturday 14 September, the 47-year-old road cycling enthusiast from Brighton set off on an epic challenge, accompanied by fellow cyclists; Darren Wilson and Mike Watson.

Together, they challenged themselves to tackle the famous John O’Groats to Lands End route through the UK. They began at John O’Groats – the most North East Tip of Scotland – preparing for the 12-day journey which lay ahead of them.

Their adventure saw them cycle through Scotland, into England, dip into Wales, and finish at Land’s End – the most westerly point of Cornwall. Raising money for charity was the motivation behind their challenge, each of them choosing to adopt a beneficiary cause close to their hearts.

Darren, Richard and Mike make it to England!

Raising funds for Rockinghorse

Richard, who is the Cofounder and Managing Director of Clearleft – a digital design consultancy based in Brighton – chose to support Rockinghorse.

Originally the trio pledged to raise £3,000 between them, which would be split amongst their three chosen charities. However, the support received during the challenge was more than they could have imagined. In total, they raised over £11,000, with Rockinghorse receiving £3,509 of the share.

As the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton, we raise money for life-saving and cutting-edge medical equipment. We also fund items and services to benefit young patients and their families.

Richard, Mike and Darren celebrate reaching their finishing point at Land’s End in Cornwall.

Supporting the Alex in Brighton

Having benefited from the Alex in the past, Richard knows all too well how important this service is. He says, “I have two young children, Gracie who is eight-years-old and Laurie who is five-years-old. When they were toddlers, there were various times when they were admitted to the Alex.

“During such visits, I noticed there were toys and items funded by Rockinghorse that helped them to relax. In particular, there were pedal cars that the children could use to travel to the consultant’s room. It turned the whole experience into an adventure for them. It was a wonderful touch and I have remembered it dearly since.”

During the first part of their journey, the trio were faced with fierce crosswinds and wet conditions, making for a difficult ride. It proved to be a rocky start to the challenge. To their relief, the weather took a pleasant turn and picked up in the ensuing days. The team made their way down through Scotland to Kilmarnock.

Reaching Carlisle in England on day six of the challenge, their journey continued. They travelled through the picturesque Lake District, cycling their way through the North West of England towards the Severn Bridge in Wales. From there, they headed down to Tiverton in the West country before continuing on the final leg of their journey to the finishing point of Land’s End.

Richard with Lucy from Rockinghorse during a cheque presentation on Brighton seafront.

Congratulations Richard!

Reflecting on his achievement, Richard says, “It’s still hard to fully comprehend what we have accomplished. Averaging 80 miles a day for twelve days straight seemed like a daunting task and it was certainly a big challenge.

“Chuck in the kind of weather you would expect from Britain in late September and the discomfort you get from sitting on a road bike saddle for six hours plus a day! Our challenge was a long-held dream of Darren’s which I’m honoured to help make come true.

“Mike planned the route and booked all our accommodation along the way, and Darren’s wife, Sue, drove a support vehicle during the entire trip. We simply couldn’t have done this without her support. I’m really proud we’ve managed to raise so much money – huge thanks to everyone who has supported us. What a trip!”

If you would like to take part in a challenge event for Rockinghorse, then we’d love to hear from you! Call us on 01273 330044 or email lucy.pond@rockinghorse.org.uk.

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