Dear EFOD Riders and Supporters,

It's been some time now since the EFOD cycle challenge last June, but now the winter appears to be over and spring is turning everyone's attention to being outside once again we thought it was about time we summed up last year and gave some dates for the diary for this years challenge.

Cycle Challenge 2019    6th / 7th July - Save the Dates!

For anyone unaware, Engineers For Overseas Development (EFOD) is a charity created in Wales with the aim is to deliver engineering projects which improve the health, hygiene, education and self-sufficiency of poverty afflicted communities in a sustainable manner.

Each year we take on the kind of cycle challenge where many would question the participants sanity to help raise funds for this cause. All costs are covered by the riders and the charity is entirely voluntary so every penny raised goes straight into the development projects. The current EFOD Cardiff project is a nursery and primary school build in Uganda.

The format will be - two ride options :



to the right : 2 days of riding

200 miles along one of the most spectacular routes you can imagine



Any discomfort experience is all in aid of a great cause





to the left : 2 days of riding

~100 miles in total of equally spectacular, but slightly easier riding

All food, accommodation, transport, support and great sense of accomplishment included



Register your interest - Click Here         queries to - Jon.Morgan-Heath@arup.com         and - link to 2019 Fundraising page   

Jon has kindly ( naively ) taken on the challenge of leading the organisation this year so expect to be hearing from him soon with some further details. I'll be closely involved in the background and between us, we'll make sure this year is yet another ride to truly remember!

?? Cycle Challenge ??

For anyone fresh to the idea of the EFOD cycle challenge I thought I'd try and give you a feel for why you should sign up and join in. First and foremost, this isn't your everyday ride or sportive. In fact, it's pretty unique. The order of events generally goes something like this . . .

We gather on the Friday afternoon in Cardiff, load bikes into vans, then set of in a coach to the start location. Last year this was Lady Bower Reservoir in the Peak District. Previous destinations have included Snowdonia, the North Wales Coast, St David's in SW Wales and even Exmoor National Park. Each designed to give around 200 miles of spectacular riding on the way back.

Upon arrival that evening we enjoy some food, get to know fellow riders and at some point, turn in for the night, either dreaming about or restlessly anticipating the next day. After a hearty breakfast we then set off on genuinely some of the most amazing routes you'll potentially ever ride.  Around 100 miles later you then arrive at the next overnight stop where you are once again, fed, watered and given a bed for the night. Day two is then usually another 100 miles to the final destination - Wales's capital - Cardiff.

On the ride as a whole, the views usually have to be earnt and the distances are tough, but our excellent support crew ensure you're fed, watered and in good spirits the whole way. The routes are marked, maps and GPS routes provided and the support crew are always on hand if you still manage to get lost. The 50-60 other riders range from serious enthusiasts to the occasional commuter so irrelevant of your ability, you will likely have some company along the way. If you do end up riding alone, we throw in plentiful snack and lunch stops along the way where we each take our time, gather again and enjoy seeing how others are getting before continuing on to the next stop.

Finally, if 200 miles simply sounds too far, we also offer a 2 x 50mile route option. You'll set off together with the whole group, then a couple of times along the way you may end up taking slightly flatter and shorter directions. Before the end of the full route there will then be a shorter route end. Depending on how you're feeling, you can either carry on through or jump in the minibus to catch a lift to the end.

Cycle Challenge 2018 Recap.            Funds Raised for EFOD - £ 17,101.62 - inc. Gift Aid

Last year, 61 of us rode 210 miles from Lady Bower Reservoir in the Peak district, all the way to Cardiff. The route was a seriously tough one, taking in some of the finest hills the Peak District, the Shrophire Hills and the Brecon Beacons had to offer. The riders rose to the challenge though and even with a 130 miles first day, excelled well beyond what most thought they were capable of and made it one way or another to the finish for a well-earned rest!

2018 donation details - mydonate.bt.com/events/efod2018cycle

Photos

For anyone who finds it hard to believe 200 miles of cycling could be an enjoyable experience, I thought it best to include some photos as evidence!

Special Thanks

Some amazing fund raising efforts were made and I'd like to extend special thanks to each of the following who raised over £ 250 each.

Andrew Chivers, Grace Stewart, Richard Bullet, Darren Shaw, Steven Atkinson, Thomas Martin and Leanne Nicholas.

Not forgetting the support crew who were excellent as always and with the help of Plan2Ride made last year potentially one of the smoothest events we've done.

There were too many others who raised significant amounts, helped out behind the scenes and chipped in along the way to mention, but thank you to all.

Spirit of EFOD Award

Finally (for now), we chose to introduce a new award last year for the person who embraces the EFOD Cycle Challenge and epitomises the spirit of the event. The event is organised and then handled by the support crew on a voluntary basis with riders often lending a hand along the way. It is therefore hugely rewarding for everyone involved to see someone pushing well beyond their comfort zone with the unchangeable ambition of completing what they set out to do.

This year the award went to Jack Davies who, equipped with his trusty commuter bike, set off with a look of determination on his face, ground his way up every hill - there may have been some walking - and made his way wearily through to the finish lines late into the evenings, but still brandishing a big grin on his face. He remained unbroken and true to the spirit of the challenge throughout. Congratulations!

We look forward to seeing who will rise to the challenge this year.

Jeremy Fletcher

Engineer | Water | Dams & Reservoirs | EFOD Cycle Challenge Ambassador | Bike Enthusiast | Lengthy Email Writer

MEng (Hons)

Arup

4 Pierhead Street Cardiff CF10 4QP United Kingdom

d: +44 29 2076 9075  m: +44 79 7621 2007