Cyclo-paths go the distance

PUBLISHED: 12:30 28 June 2015

The Sid Valley Cyclo-paths - still smiling at Land's End

The Sid Valley Cyclo-paths - still smiling at Land's End


There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when the five fundraising Sid Valley Cyclo-paths arrived at Land’s End – where their combined 4,500 miles earned them a hero’s welcome.

The Sid Valley Cyclo-paths - still smiling at Land's EndThe Sid Valley Cyclo-paths - still smiling at Land's End

Matt Barrett, Mark Denning, Steve Parry, Nick Baker and Stuart Coles went the distance in just eight days, keeping their camaraderie in the face of tough conditions.

But the pain was all worthwhile - as well as getting in the best shape of their lives, they netted charity Dream-A-Way nearly £12,000.

“Day one was by far and away the hardest day anyone of us has ever had on a bike,” said Matt. “We left John o’ Groats into a 45-mile-per-hour headwind, which we then cycled into for 119 miles.

“We arrived at Inverness nine hours later, all absolutely exhausted. It’s a good job it was day one when we were all quite fresh still.”

Conditions were kinder the rest of the way – except on Bodmin Moor when they faced ‘monsoon’ rain – and they arrived at their destination to a hero’s welcome.

“Somewhere in the region of 70 to 80 friends and family were waiting for us, cheering and shouting as we rode side-by-side to the finish line. It certainly was a moment I’ll never forget – not a dry eye in the house.”

Matt said people had doubted the five intrepid cyclists would ever complete the ride – and that was all the motivation they needed.

Mike Rock, the chairman of Dream-A-Way’s Sidmouth fundraisers, said: “None of the cyclists is professional, just working-class people showing some love –
 how cool is that?”

The charity works across the South West to assist people living with physical and learning difficulties and their families. The Sidmouth group formed in January and set itself a £20,000 target for its first year – and, with the Cyclo-paths’ success, it looks set to smash that.

To boost the cyclists’ appeal, visit

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