After spending weeks preparing, our plan to ride the first stage of Le Tour finally took place on the 26th of June. We couldn’t have chosen a better day for riding, with the weather dry but not too hot. The four relay riders set off from Tech North at 7am- with a rider on the road for all but 12 of the 120 miles (and 9000 feet of climbs) that make up the Tour de France’s first leg.
The pace of the riders was excellent, and the only section of the ride where riders needed a break was following the Butter Tubs climb- the most challenging of first leg’s ascents. Although the riders were able to complete the climb, it was understandable that afterwards the group was in a need of a short rest. But following an energy boost provided by some flapjacks, bananas and jam sandwiches our eager cyclists got back on the road!
Our riders were on the road for 13 hours in total, getting into Harrogate just after 8pm. It was a phenomenal effort by young people who had little cycling experience before they began their training. It’s safe to say that the young riders surpassed all expectations!
On reflection this was a fantastic project, over the last two and a half months ten young people have participated in the project undertaking a range of activities, from road safety and first aid to mountain biking and course training. We’d like to thank Edinburgh Bike Shop for their financial support, and Seacroft Wheelers and our leisure services department for providing invaluable guidance.
All our riding was done in aid of Martin House Children’s Hospice, a cause that all our young people felt important following a recent visit. It’s everyone’s hope that the young riders take their experience and sense of completion at riding Le Tour, and use it to overcome challenges in other aspects of their lives- ultimately ending their involvement with the Youth Justice System.
Well done to all involved and I hope you feel pride in your achievements!
If you wish to make a donation to Martin House Children’s Hospice you can find a link here.