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Category Archives: T2TBlog

Tower 2 Tower – Wednesday 20th August 2014 (Day 5)

We set off from Gravesend fully refreshed on a cold and crispy morning. A couple of hills set the tone as we headed out to Rochester. Then we had a serious uphill along the A2 before one of our number had a harmless looking fall in standing traffic. Unfortunately it was a little more serious as she had caught her elbow on the cur, which had produced a serious gash. Our Yvette was intent on getting a bandage and carrying on but the rest of us knew this was impossible as we could see her bone! We had help from a passerby and a very helpful paramedic who then took her to hospital. Our support driver didn’t quite have the uneventful day he was hoping for and went to hospital while the rest of us, including Yvette’s partner Mark, carried on.

 We encountered a mother of a hill on route and then lunched in Canterbury, a beautiful place albeit with some “unusual” people. There we found out that Yvette needed an operation and would be in hospital overnight so hatched a plan of action. All of us cycled to just outside Sandwich where we met the support van. At which point Dave jumped in the van to head back and spend the night in Rochester so as to visit Yvette in hospital and then accompany her to France once she was discharged. The other cyclists continued on through Sandwich along the coast through Deal and finally over the cliffs to Dover. Our support van had to transport Dave and then get back to Dover for the fully. All of this was accomplished and the French team made it to Calais.

 After such a stressful day they only have 107 miles to cycle to Amiens tomorrow!

 Yvette’s partner is one of those cyclists and you can show your support at www.justgiving.com/dutty

 

Day 5 Starts

Day 5 Starts

Administering medical support

Administering medical support

Lunch in Canterbury

Lunch in Canterbury

Arrived in Dover

Arrived in Dover

At the beach

At the beach

Tower 2 Tower – Wednesday 19th August 2014 (Day 4)

After yesterday’s mammoth trek, today seemed much more manageable. 82 miles of nice cycling in good weather with only the odd hill to spoil our fun! We set off from Huntingdon racecourse and immediately got stuck in the town’s one way system. Eventually we made it to the main road which we followed all the way to Royston where Costa Coffee supplied the latte and Belgian chocolate cake. We then headed down the A10 before branching off through some beautiful little villages around Puckeridge, Much Hadham and Green Tye before heading to Sawbridgeworth. Lunch was had at the Orange Tree on West Road but don’t dare ask for some of our group to sit inside and some to sit outside! Debbie was most perturbed and consequently forsake any sort of refreshment.

Then we headed through the much busier Harlow, before heading towards Romford and finally to the Dartford Crossing (QE2 bridge) via Purfleet. Some were taken across there in our support van and some by the free transport that is provided. Then 3 of our number got a bit disorientated and ended up a fair way down the M25 slip road before realising their mistake and heading back!

Then we undulated towards Gravesend where a warm welcome was received ant the Premier Inn! This was our changeover night for our support as James heads back to Manchester and will be sorely missed while Ste takes over and began with a very motivational speech – “no matter how bad you feel now its going to get worse!” That’s around 300 miles cycled so far – well done lads and lasses.

On to Calais tomorrow!

Please remember you can support our cyclists by donating at

www.justgiving.com/k42

Donations made at this page can be dedicated to any of our cyclists.

Start at Huntingdon racecourse

Start at Huntingdon racecourse

Gearing up in Huntingdon

Gearing up in Huntingdon

Pitstop in Royston

Pitstop in Royston

Epping Forest - running repairs

Epping Forest – running repairs

Lunch in East Hertfordshire

Lunch in East Hertfordshire

 

 

Tower 2 Tower – Monday 18th August 2014 (Day 3)

Day 3 began with overcast but dry weather and a scenic route through North Derbyshire to Nottinghamshire.

A few miles in, we had a photo stop and a few miles later we were left by our guide, Gary Hibbard, at Calverton.

The first fuel stop at Bingham saw us joined by one of the Day 1 cyclists for a coffee and motivational talk. “You better get a move on if you want to make Huntingdon by nightfall”!

The ride to Oakham was more hilly than some of our number expected but all made it there for a longer lunch than previously planned in a rather lovely cafe.

The route then took us through Rutland water and some lovely scenic villages, where no-one seemed to live!

The final part of the day’s 100.2 mile journey saw our support driver come into his own as we needed an alternative route to our hotel, located near the racecourse at Huntingdon.

A very tough gruelling but rewarding day is how our cyclists described it! Can’t wait for tomorrow and the cycle to Gravesend!

Day 3 Starts in Bolsover with bike repairs

Day 3 Starts in Bolsover with bike repairs

Pit stop in Bingham where we received donations by kind locals

Pit stop in Bingham where we received donations by kind locals

Going the extra mile to support our cyclists through the emotional and physical 'walls'

Going the extra mile to support our cyclists through the emotional and physical ‘walls’

Lunch in Oakham where fellow diners donated £36 on the cause

Lunch in Oakham where fellow diners donated £36 on the cause

Two cyclists speed off as the rest of us take a much deserved break

Two cyclists speed off as the rest of us take a much deserved break

Day 3 completed. View from the room in Huntingdon

Day 3 completed. View from the room in Huntingdon

Tower 2 Tower – Sunday 17th August 2014 (Day 2)

The Day of the Hills!A great night at the Holiday Inn at Media City shared with triathletes and disappointed United fans! The staff really went the extra mile for us and the food was lovely. 

An early start to avoid the Salford triathlon and also a wet and grey start. We cycled to Manchester and then down Upper Brook Street before joining the A6 in Levvy. Then down the A6 until our first coffee stop at a lovely cafe at High Lane.

Then we started our first real ascent of the day near the Chestnut Centre and towards Winnets Pass. What a downhill that is made more treacherous by the rain and resurfacing! A great experience though and the video will appear at some point. 

Another sustenance and then repair stop in Hope (see pics) before more hills in Hathersage, Dronfield and Renishaw before finally arriving at the Ibis in Barlborough.

Anyone cycling today well and truly deserved their sponsorship. Well done guys and girls and especially Zoe Hibbard, Superzo!

 

Start at C4C

Start at C4C

Parent voluneering her children to join us on the cycle at High Lane Cafe

Parent voluneering her children to join us on the cycle at High Lane Cafe

Woodbine Stop 1

Woodbine Stop 1

Woodbine Stop 2

Woodbine Stop 2

1 hour spent repairing a quadruple puncture

1 hour spent repairing a quadruple puncture

Arrived in Chesterfield

Arrived in Chesterfield

Tower 2 Tower – Saturday 16th August 2014 (Day 1)

 

Well, all the planning was finally over and the 2014 cycle from Blackpool to Paris began.

Day 1 - Blackpool 0miles

Blackpool – Start of T2T

Logistical issues caused by works on the railways added to the complications of getting people to the start but over 20 cyclists still made it to the prom outside Blackpool Tower (see photo).

It was a grey windy day but the rain stayed off for the most part.

The route started off down the seafront with the smells of hot dogs and candy floss and the sounds from the arcades and pleasure beach.

The sand blowing across the faces of the cyclists added to the ambience as they headed for the more upmarket towns of St Annes and Lytham. On Lytham prom the rode was interrupted by a nostalgic war time procession and display (see pic).

Lytham Prom

Lytham Prom

The cyclists then headed to Preston and through the Marina and Avenham park, where there was a display of classic cars.

Then the route got less scenic as the A6 became the path all the Way to Walkden, however most cyclists forgave this for its directness and the stop at Fredericks ice cream parlour at Chorley ( see pic).

Frederick's Ice Cream Parlour

Frederick’s Ice Cream Parlour

The journey into Trafford Park saw a few people get lost and as we got towards Trafford Park we were met with an exodus of very sad United fan’s faces leaving Old Trafford.

Once at Challenge 4 Change the cyclists enjoyed teas, coffees and various pastries supplied by Tracy and congratulated themselves on a excellent effort.

However for the ones continuing to Paris it wasn’t long before their thoughts turned to day 2 and the “day of hills” through the Peak District to Barlborough.

An excellent effort by all though and a wonderful day where valuable funds were raised for Challenge 4 Change.

If you get inspired by our cyclists there is still time to donate at www.justgiving.com/manchester2blackpool

or www.justgiving.com/k42

Interesting few weeks at C4C

It has been an interesting few weeks at Challenge 4 Change and the purpose of this email is to give you a brief update on some of that as well as to let you know about a few forthcoming events.

Blackpool to Paris “Tower 2 Tower” Cycle Challenge (16th – 23rd August 2014)

If this is something you want to get involved in as a cyclist, or know someone that may, please contact Tower 2 Tower Cyclists

If you know of any company that would like to join Safecote, Fibrelight and TGC Computers as sponsors of the event please get them to contact Tower 2 Tower Sponsors

You can keep up to date with all things to do with the challenge via twitter @tower2tower1

Blackpool to Manchester Cycle 16th August 2014

The entry fee for the above, picturesque and leisurely, ride is £25. If you would like to take part then please contact Blackpool to Manchester Cycle

Swiss Alpine Marathon

Most of you may know that I have cycled from Blackpool to Paris for the last two years to raise funds for Challenge 4 Change. I am doing that again but can’t really ask people to sponsor me so I have decided to do something more stretching. Therefore I have signed up to do the Swiss Alpine Marathon in July as well. This is a full 26.2 miles of pain up in the Swiss Alps around Davos. If you can, please sponsor me at Swiss Alpine Marathon

26 March

In the morning 10 x 11-13 year olds from Shaftesbury High School visited C4C for a 2 hour session working on building confidence and self-esteem. In the afternoon 15 staff from Key 103 visited the centre for a team bonding session. Both sessions were excellent and obviously very different. Joanne Brown from Key 103 tweeted “Thank you so much for an amazing afternoon @c4cteambuilding especially Chris who was fantastic”. We have since submitted a joint bid with Key 103 to Trafford Council via the Chest.

27 March

90 Year 10 and 11 pupils from Ashton-on Mersey School descended on Challenge 4 Change. These were split into two groups with 45 doing activities in the arena while the others undertook careers related training sessions in our conference and training rooms. In the afternoon the two groups swapped over. It was a fantastic, day where the teachers really got involved, one of whom has since been in touch about becoming a freelancer for us. Her comments were “I work at Ashton on Mersey secondary school & have just spent a wonderful day with you. Pupils were inspired. If you ever need a free lance female instructor I’d love to help….”

31 March

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester, Tony Lloyd, visited Challenge 4 Change. While he was at C4C two groups were participating in teambuilding sessions. One was brought by the Salford Reds Foundation and the other from The Prince’s Trust. Tony Lloyd was extremely interested to see what we had done to the old Tate & Lyle building as he is local to the area. He was also very interested in our Teams not Gangs programme.

1 April

A group of 13 & 14 year olds came to the centre with Leigh Community Trust. This is part of an ongoing relationship we have with the Trust and is aimed at engaging the young people and motivating them through team building activities. The session was inspiring for both us and them and quite a small group filled the centre with positive shrieks and laughter.

2 April

The RANS (Rochdale Additional Needs Service) team from Rochdale Council brought a group of young people with special needs. These included one blind young person, six with visual impairment, one who was hearing impaired and one with mild autism. The session was extremely stimulating and rewarding for all concerned and the Giant Swing in particular was a major hit with the group.

Up and Coming Bookings

In the next few days we are delivering a number of Teams not Gangs sessions for Bolton Council, Bispham High School and Barlow Moor Community Association. We also have a group coming to us from Manchester Fire and Rescue Service as well a child / parent engagement session we will be delivering for Eclypse Lifeline.

Part Funded Sessions Availability

We have been successful in securing funding from the Oglesby Trust for up to 50% funding for a number of sessions for community groups, schools and charities. If you are interested in applying for one of these please contact us on dave@challenge4change.org referencing ‘Oglesby Trust Funded Sessions.

We also have a number of free Teams not Gangs sessions we can provide thanks to funding from Simply Health. If you would like to apply for one of these please contact us on dave@challenge4change.org referencing ‘Simply Health Funded Sessions.’

 

And Finally

We have a programme of work to make sure people don’t miss us on their journey up and down Trafford Park Road. The first phase of this is our colourful new sign (see below) which Burnt Tree Vehicle Hire have kindly let us put on their fence. Thanks to Vital Signs and Graphics for the sign itself.

BlbB3Y-IAAARyVc

Highlights from a Week at Challenge 4 Change

At Challenge 4 Change, no two days are at all the same and we thought it best to give you a flavour just how diverse a week can be and the types of groups we deal with on a weekly basis.

Monday 17 February 2014

The week was started when >>Link for Life, Rochdale brought 12 disabled young people to the centre. Four of the young people arrived in wheelchairs and a fantastic session ensued. One of the helpers who came with the young people said that one of the girls “had never moved so much in her life”. The smiling faces at the end of 3 and a half hours of fun filled activities were a great reward for our instructors and staff. It was also clear to see that the young people had all achieved more than they thought they could when they arrived at Challenge 4 Change.

Wednesday 19 February

Challenge 4 Change partnered with >>Reachout UK, a mentoring charity, to host a corporate challenge day, which was kindly sponsored by >>Metronet UK. The day saw teams of 5 staff from RBS, Bank of New York, Arrow Global, Simply Health, ZurichReachOut Finance and Jones Lang LaSalle compete against each other. Each team also had 2 young people attached to them from local schools (see picture of the ice breakers in the tyre pit. The day was fantastic with ground level challenges in the morning and aerial activities after a great lunch from the warren Bruce Court Bistro. The team prize went to Arrow Global and was presented by Alex Williams MBE from >>City in the Community.

Friday 21st February

A group of 14-16 year olds from a behavioural unit were brought to the centre by >>Stockport Homes for our Teams Not Gangs programme. The Teams Not Gangs programme is a 3 stage process which goes through the positives of working in a team, what can be achieved and the fun that can be had using our ground level challenges. It then explores consequences using a lot of role play our ex prison officer, ex prisoner and mother of a serving prisoner as well as using our jail and prison cell. The final part is about bravery and uses the aerial challenges as well as a lot of discussion about what the brave thing to do is in a number of circumstances. The programme is all about choices and the feedback we have had on it so far has been excellent with Anti Social Behaviour dropping where this programme has been implemented. One 16 year old arrived, speaking like a gangster and threatening to ‘smoke’ our Instructors. He didn’t participate much in the first part of the session but by the time the aerial challenges came around he was attached to Dennis and even apologised to the instructors for his earlier behaviour. The difference in the whole group was fantastic but it was great to see this particular young lad changed from a hard Manchester gangster into a pleasant young lad from Cheshire in the space of 3 hours. The following feedback was received after the session

“I just wanted to pass on my thank. I brought a group of young people from a behavioural unit today and I was quite apprehensive about how the day would go. I think the team were excellent with them and judging by the way they left (compared to the way they arrived!!) and the conversations I had with them on the way home it’s safe to say this morning has had an impact on them. They can be a difficult bunch and your guys did witness some of it but they took absolutely no messing and there was a remarkable change in attitude from some of the group, it really was brilliant to see.” Rebecca McAvoy, Education Officer, Stockport Homes

Google News

If you have not managed to visit Challenge 4 Change yet a virtual tour is now online and can be viewed by the world via desktop, tablet or smartphone.
You can simply open Google, search for Challenge 4 Change and click the See Inside link on the right hand side of the page.

Alternatively you can access the tour on our website by clicking >>here.

Tower 2 Tower Cycle Challenge

Yes, >>Tower2Tower it’s back! So, if you want to have a go at cycling from Blackpool to Manchester in August, or know someone that may, please email dave@tower2tower.org.uk

And Finally

The Tower 2 Tower Challenge isn’t enough for our CE this year, so he is going to run the Alpine Marathon as well. You can support him, and Challenge 4 Change, at via the >>Just Giving site

Tower 2 Tower – Saturday 27th July (Day 8)

Day 8 started with thunder lightening and heavy rain in Chantilly.

Chantilly racecourse

Chantilly racecourse

Lie in this morning as we didn’t set off till 9.30 by which time the rain had stopped. We detoured to have a look at the racecourse before setting off on some steep climbs towards Paris.

We passed the Stade de France and had a pleasant journey in to the centre of Paris. We took our lives in our hands and cycled around the Arc de Triomphe and then down the Champs Elysee. 

Start of the final countdown

Start of the final countdown

We arrived at the Eiffel Tower where we had rose champagne served by coach James who has been excellent throughout. DJ - T2T Day 9C 2013

So well done Zoe, Gary, Graham, Richard and Gareth. You did great!!!!!!! Roll on next year! And don’t forget if you have been inspired to donate please visit www.justgiving.com/djordo

DJ - T2T Day 9D 2013 DJ - T2T Day 9E 2013

Tower 2 Tower – Friday 26th July 2013 (Day 7)

After an excellent meal last night at the Novotel in Amiens, spirits were high for today’s short 71 mile ride. However, these feelings were soon dampened by the downpour that awaited us. Some of us are also now having real problems with the parts of our anatomy that are in most contact with the bike!

The day started with plusieurs de pleut!

The day started with plusieurs de pleut!

The rain spurred us on to make good progress and then it stopped about 10 miles in. It was very cloudy for a while but this was eventually replaced by sunshine. There were a few decent hills and some gorgeous scenery. It’s also a bit unfair of the French to keep hiding hills around bends so you can’t see them!

The weather got better as they day went on and some people needed a break!

The weather got better as they day went on and some people needed a break!

The lead group arrived in Chantilly about half past 3 local time and I pipped Gareth for the yellow jersey on the line! Only 30 odd miles to do now and we’ve made it. A great effort and a great bunch of people to do this challenge with. Email me if you want to join in next year!

Tower 2 Tower – Thursday 25th July (Day 6)

The Longest day begins at the Ibis Calais

The Longest day begins at the Ibis Calais

Well, the longest day started with a buffet breakfast at the Ibis in Calais.

After we finally got Graham out of bed, we set off. Once out of Calais, we hit the countryside and the hills.Northern France is not flat! I may have mentioned that last year! I think it was worse for me as I knew what was coming.

Fuel stop at this years McDonalds!
Fuel stop at this years McDonalds!

 

The chippy stop off point (see picture) came at a useful point (about 26 miles) and from then the landscape became more conducive to making some time up. The weather was very hot and windy in parts. I managed to arrive at the hotel a full 6 hours earlier than I did last year and the journey was much better in daylight. Seriously the route coach Dave did for us last year worked a treat again this year.

Its not quite Chesterfield but France has a crooked spire as well!

Its not quite Chesterfield but France has a crooked spire as well!

Very scenic quite country roads. At one point I thought I was in Chesterfield but it was a French imitation! 97 miles completed today so only a short 78 miles to do tomorrow to get to Chantilly!

The cows were very interested in my bike!

The cows were very interested in my bike!