Wow, what a crazy 4 month journey this has been! From setting off for our first tentative cycle ride on 23rd March, at the start of lockdown (we managed a whole mile and a half to Wolf Hall and it was hard work!) to fitting in 200 miles in the last 2 weeks and plenty of things to entertain us on the way:-
We've explored our local area and countryside more than we'd ever had time to before - we know all the cycle routes between here and Bedwyn and can probably tell you how long each one is, in miles and kilometres.
We've had punctures (mainly mine), brakes binding (also mine - wow that cycle was like a high resistance spinning class especially as I had Ember on the back!), new tyres, a few crashes, and upgraded teeth. Anya has had a new bike, a new helmet and has probably done more miles on her new bike in the last 2 months than most bikes ever see in their whole lifetime!
We've made it into regional newspapers all over the country - including Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast - had several interviews with Ben on the breakfast show on BBC Radio Wiltshire and been one of the faces of British Cycling's Let's Ride campaign on social media.
All this whilst trying to balance work (full time, key workers for mobile comms!), school (from home and actual school) and entertaining Ember, Anya's loving 3 year old sister who has been entertained on our trips by playing films on a tablet strapped to our backs!
On Thursday 23rd July, Anya finished her 999 mile challenge with an incredibly well turned out cheer across the finish line at the White Hart Pub, broadcast live on Facebook, thanks to Gavin, photographed by the Burbage Camera Club (thank you for all the lovely photos!) and showing some reciprocated support to our neighbour, landlady Claire Pratley who has been incredibly supportive of us all the way on our journey.
With ice cream, and a medal (thank you https://www.facebook.com/mylittleblueduck/) to celebrate the occasion, (and a well deserved wine for me!), the finish had a lovely community feel and we thank you all for that.
Just look at that smile - it says it all!
Thank you Burbage for all your amazing support, the total raised so far is £1274 and I have to say that I am so incredibly proud of Anya for her resilience, determination, resolve and incredible sense of humour. We couldn't have done it without her!
The last video post is here - please watch to the end to see the story in pictures!
Anya has now cycled over 900 miles and broken the £1000 raised barrier! Last Saturday we arrived in Scotland - it looked a lot like Bedwyn to be fair! It really seemed like a milestone - this last leg has been a long one, so we celebrated with a wee dram (for Mummy and Daddy) but the girls weren't interested in IrnBru..
On Monday, we had made our way to Dalbeattie and shared a video with Granny's Uncle Ian and Aunt Anne who had donated to our cause! It's lovely how we are still connecting with family even through this crisis!
Anya was on the radio once more (link 1:55 in) and we all feel like we're on the homeward stretch!
We are hoping to reach Glasgow next Monday, when Anya is featuring in one of Daddy's cross functional conference calls to say thank you to all our Glaswegian colleagues who have donated so generously!
If everything goes to plan, we will reach Edinburgh on Friday 24th July, 4 months and 1 day since we started this journey! And there we will leave our cycles for a few weeks whilst the girls go to their Nanny's and Grandad's house and we try and get a summer break in!
In fact her entire journey will be the equivalent of cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End and then home to Burbage again! No wonder it's taken us all of lockdown!
Some great news this update is that Anya now has perfectly formed teeth once again, thanks to the miraculous work undertaken by our dentist.
They look amazing and we are absolutely in awe at what these magicians can do, even under COVID restrictions! Think we may remember this specific trip to the dentist for quite some time!
Now with Anya being back at school, you may think we'd struggle to get as many miles in as we did when we were "schooling from home", but actually, when the weather allows (so much rain and wind recently!!), Anya has been cycling before school (to drop Ember off at Sunflowers), lunch time and then again in the evening (to pick Ember up from Sunflowers)! So our mileage hasn't changed that much, just the scenery!
And what great scenery it is, again we are grateful that we live in Burbage, our village is so beautiful and the people are so supportive (I'd really like to thank the owner of the bunny rabbits in the front garden along Eastcourt Road - it took us a long time to clock that they weren't actually real - they even change positions!) It's amazing how much more we notice as we cycle along rather than hurtling everywhere in cars!
On that note, I'd like to thank all the considerate drivers out there, passing us with plenty of space and graciously accepting our guidance when we can see more of the road ahead.
I do wonder where some of the other drivers get these new "seeing round corners " devices though... :-)
Seriously though, £972 raised so far, (even The Tooth Fairy donated £20!!), would love to get it over the £1000 mark!
Thank you once again, please help us if you can!
At the start of Lockdown Anya, 7, decided that she wanted to virtually visit all her friends and family since she knew she would really miss them! So, as a family, we started to use our daily exercise time to cycle (luckily we have some beautiful surroundings!) and kept a note of how far she got!