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23
Oct
Pedal power!

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • Cycle Cuba

Cuba Bike Ride 2015 - October 8th to 16th By Penny Mountbatten

As a Patron of Leukaemia CARE, I felt inspired to do something proactive to raise funds for this fantastic and much-needed charity. Blood cancers are so prevalent that they ultimately affect us all, directly or indirectly.  My best friend, Vicky Fraser, and I signed up to cycle 400km in Cuba this month.  At the time of signing up, we had no idea of the challenges we faced, which started with our training on the excessively steep Devon and Somerset hills during the summer.  Not always easy when we had to organise our collective six children on their summer holidays, but we managed it even though there were a few tears, a lot of laughter and hysteria!

When we arrived in Cuba, we hadn't prepared ourselves for the extreme heat and humidity - this was one of the hardest things we had to deal with. At each stop we had water thrown over us by an incredibly efficient team of ground staff to help us cool down and remain hydrated.  There were 81 participants, all supporting their charity of choice, including six inspirational tetraplegics in hand cycles, accompanied by their carers.  With the 5.30am daily wake up calls, the obligatory salsa dancing and Cuba Libres at the end of each day, were a welcome respite after the arduous ride. 

We both survived the challenge intact; some of our fellow cyclists didn't fare so well.  There was a broken arm, a few stitches, two hospital admissions, many bruises and a lot of sunburn - but we all completed the task in hand.  Once we collect all of our sponsor money, we hope to raise £7,500 for Leukaemia CARE and are hugely grateful to everyone who has supported us so far.

It has been an honour and a privilege to do something small to help Leukaemia CARE. Vicky and I look forward to planning our next adventure!

See our overseas challenge events section for more information.

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