A lifetime of eighty-two years can bring some amazing adventures. To name just one, at the age of twenty I enjoyed the privilege of flying that fine aircraft, the Spitfire Mark twenty-two, and being paid to do it what’s more! Sixty-two years later another exciting adventure came my way. This time it was to fly down the Taff Trail on two wheels rather than wings.
The story began in June when I took a misbehaving computer to the boffins in Cwmbran Shopping and learnt by-the-by that they were seeking sponsorship for the 52-mile Challenge. I became so fired-up by the idea that I tried to raise a team, but that failed miserably. I shared my disappointment with the Computer Shop Team and was told that one of theirs had pulled out. Would I like to join them on 6th September? With no hesitation, I accepted.
With advice from Dor2Dor, the leaflet people, I designed a leaflet. They generously offered to print ten thousand. I thought they were mad. But I was wrong. Even five days after the ride the website, JustGiving, has informed me that another two donations, one of £100 and the other £10 had been received. The response has been overwhelming.
As for the ride, it was tougher than expected. “Don’t worry.” I had been told. “From Brecon to Cardiff it’s downhill all the way.” I learnt the hard way that it was nothing like that. But there were compensations aplenty such as the breathtaking views overlooking the Talybont Reservoir. The going varied from smooth to rough, steady up and steady down. Friendly marshals along the way helped with energy snacks, biscuits, cakes, and water. Some had given up the whole of their Sunday to guide us and fellow competitors. They and the organisers of the Challenge, have our deep admiration and gratitude.
Precious is the gift of health that enabled me to ride those fifty-two miles, plus six bonus miles when our team took a wrong turn! On the other side of the coin, one’s thoughts turn to the less fortunate ones, those lovely young people and their parents so well cared for by the staff of Tŷ Hafan. I am indeed grateful to have been able to help with fundraising.