Two of our colleagues were in perfect tandem when they came up with their latest fundraising idea - a sponsored cycle around the perimeter of Wales!
ActiveQuote head of finance Rob Merrills and business analyst and project manager Daniel Beynon cycled around Wales in just four days, tackling challenges such as climbing the highest tarmac road in Wales - not to mention singing in a village pub with a male voice choir to boost the coffers!
Rob and Dan took on the epic bike ride in aid of two charities; 2 Wish Upon A Star and The Wallich, of which they and their families are long-standing supporters. To date, they have collected a fantastic £2,192 but, far from complaining of being ‘tyred’, they are already planning their next fundraising adventure.
The idea of a tour of Wales first came about two years ago. Rob said: “I’m going to pin the blame on Dan. We did a small ride of the horseshoe around Wales, taking in all the football stadia in the Welsh Premier League. The plan was for it to become an annual event and we were going to do a four-day ride last year, but Dan was ill on the day we were due to go. We postponed until May but then, the week before, I was knocked off my bike by a pedestrian and hurt my knee.”
After a spell recuperating and getting back to fitness, Rob and Dan decided on a new date and set off from The Wallich’s Cardiff headquarters on July 11. They cycled to another Wallich centre in Bridgend before following A roads to Aberystwyth, covering 116 miles on the first day.
Day two took them from Aberystwyth to Llangefni on Anglesey, via Bwlch y Groes near Bala, the highest tarmac road in Wales. Dan said: “Two years ago, Rob and I attempted the climb but we had to get off our bikes. This year, we managed to cycle it all, which was a great feeling. I loved riding through Snowdonia. The scenery was stunning, particularly at Capel Curig, where it was like being in Lord of the Rings”
Rob added: “Day three was described as a ‘rest’ day; we did another 100 miles but there was less climbing! We went through Rhyl, Conwy and Oswestry to Llanmynych. We went to the pub and Rhos Male Voice Choir was there, singing after a performance in a church. It was like a match day, with everyone singing Delilah, Cwm Rhondda and Myfanwy!
“We asked them to sing Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau and they agreed to do it as the last song of the night. We had planned an early night, but it was worth us staying as they asked everyone to put money in our pot and we raised £130 there! We also had five or six beers, which was not a good idea as the next day was one of the toughest!”
The final leg took the pair through Newtown, Builth Wells and Merthyr to Llantrisant, where they were finally able to put their feet up. But they already have a number of ideas for next year’s challenge, including Land’s End to John O’Groats or possibly a route through the Alps, taking in the Alpe D’Huez climb.
The Wallich has provided accommodation and support for people in Wales for more than 40 years. Established in Cardiff, its team of 300 now work in every local authority in Wales, including supporting prison leavers and providing outreach. 2 Wish Upon A Star provides bereavement support for families who have suddenly and traumatically lost a child or young adult.
To make a donation, visit Dan and Rob’s fundraising page.