Their story, in their words….
We embarked on our journey from Kingston cemetery at 6:00 on Monday morning. Leyton Kleiss and Alvin were all on road bikes, while Ollie was on a hybrid bike. We cycled very smoothly with no problems at ﬁrst, except when Alvin injured himself falling oﬀ when turning. We had to stop for a bit, while kleiss used his ﬁrst aid skills to help Alvin (who was shaken but ﬁne). For our ﬁrst two hours of the ride, everything was going smoothly as we were on roads, however as we approached Woking, our route took us onto trail routes (something our bikes are not really built for). This led to kleiss puncturing his tyre. Luckily we were 5 minutes from woking when this occurred. The pump we brought did not ﬁt kleiss’ bike, so we had to ﬁnd a bike shop in Woking, yet it was not open as we were so early in the morning. A local ﬁre station tried to help us out, but could not, so we had to wait for 45 minutes outside the bike shop before it could get repaired at 10:00. Once the bike was repaired, we made great progress, with very little stops, before we knew it we were in Guildford.
From Guildford we followed a trail for what felt like a long time. It was very tough and gruelling time, as we struggled a long the trail, until ﬁnally we came upon tarmac. This was the boost we needed which helped us make the great progress we needed to get to Portsmouth. One of the highlights of the route was when Alvin fell into a river along the trail. At ﬁrst we were very concerned with Alvin safety once it happened, but it quickly turned to an amusing moment once we realised Alvin was ﬁne. Although he was slightly shaken and wet, we continued with the journey. The total time it took us to get to Portsmouth was 9 hours, something which would have been much shorter if not for the puncture, and the trail. Once in Portsmouth, we visited the cathedral, and then checked into our place for the night. After this we got food and turned in for the night.
The next morning we woke up at 5 for a 5:30 start. This time we changed our route to focus more on roads, as we knew it would take us longer if on trail, due to fatigue from the day before. The route consequently took us a longer and busier route, yet it was quicker. Alvin especially struggled on the Tuesday, as he was very tired from the ﬁrst day. The route felt more like blur on the Tuesday, as we focused on less breaks and more cycling. Luckily on the return journey, we had no problems with our bikes. Overall, the return journey was a lot better than the ﬁrst. We arrived back in Kingston in a total of 8 hours.
The whole project taught us perseverance to keep on going, courage and leadership to complete the project. Overall it was a privilege to be able to do our project, and it taught us so much.