Robin Jones is a Key Worker in CareTech’s Children’s Division. Robin tells the story of his incredible – and painful – bike ride to raise funds for Tenovus Cancer Care below:
I journey frequently from South to North Wales by car and train and for many years had thought about doing a cycle ride from where I used to live to where I currently live. This journey is 140 miles. I bought a bike in March of this year and started thinking about cycling the journey. Then it dawned on me that if I was to do the bike ride why not do it for charity? As I had lost close family members to cancer, I thought ‘let’s raise some money in the process for Tenovus Cancer Care’. (Picture right my start at Clwb Rygbi Bro ffestiniog on 31st August with committee members and Debbie Rowley Manager, Tenovus Cancer Care North Wales)
I decided to title my charity ride ‘CRAC Club Rugby Against Cancer’ as I had played and coached rugby in North and South Wales and I would tie in the rugby aspect with pitchside collections. The challenge was to leave Bro Ffestiniog rugby club in the north and arrive at my former club Pontypool United in the south – a total 140 miles – in 24 hours for their first match of the season!
After many months training, I set off at 2pm from the Bro Ffestiniog RFC in the north aiming to get 90 miles in; this took me about 7 hours and it was gruelling part of the challenge. At times, I really just wanted to jump in the nearest ditch by the side of the road! I arrived in Builth Wells (90 miles) for my overnight stay in a hotel just before 9pm.
(Right: with colleagues from Pontypool United RFC and setting off for final 50-mile leg)
The next morning, five members of Pontypool Utd RFC met me and we set of for the final 50-mile leg. Disaster struck 18 miles from the finishing line when I collided with a car. I was very lucky and with just bleeding from hand and knee, I jumped back on my bike. I had to pull up after about 10 minutes’ cycling, however, due to pain and numbness my shoulder. My colleagues said my shoulder looked dislocated but 18 miles short of the end I thought ‘Hospital? No way! Let’s give it a final lash!’.
With the encouragement and support of my colleagues, we made it to the finishing line at Pontypool Utd RFC at 13:55, just under 24 hours from after I set off, and we had a great welcome. I was shipped straight off to hospital, missing the gam,e and my brother did the pitch-side collection. I had stiches in my hand and was strapped up with a dislocation of the shoulder. I was in agony towards the night and going into Sunday morning. Nevertheless, I had achieved my goal to meet a tough challenge, raise money for an important cause and, at the same time, remembering loved ones we have lost to the disease and to provide support to those fighting the disease today.
A big thank you to Caretech Foundation and helping me achieve my target of £1500. My total came in at £1650!