The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norfolk cycling duo raise £1,500 for YMCA 

YMCA Norfolk cyclists Kevin Dynes and Joe Bickerdike battled hills, saddle sores and blisters to complete YMCA’s Tour de Y challenge last week and raise £1,500 for YMCA Norfolk and YMCA England.

Kevin and Joe covered a total of 360 miles from YMCA Lakeside on the edge of Lake Windermere to the final meeting point at Central YMCA, in London.

The ride took four days in total and Kevin and Joe were among 12 riders to take part along the same route. A second group of cyclists took in a route from Penzance before also meeting in London.

Along the route, Kev and Joe got to see the sights of Lake Windermere, breath-taking views of Buckinghamshire, the Cotswolds, Iron Bridge near Telford, the Midlands and the nice flat roads leading from Oxford into the heart of London taking in Hyde Park, Marble Arch and Buckingham Palace.

Money raised will be split between YMCA Norfolk and YMCA England, the national council of YMCAs across the country.

TourDeYKevinSelfie450Cyclist, Kevin said: “This was an amazing experience! I got through basic training for the Royal Navy when I was 16 which was an achievement in itself but 26 years later, to do this was my most challenging experience so far.

“The hills were hard to say the least but we all worked as a team and dragged each other through. The group I rode with were each an inspiration, some conquering personal challenges as well as raising vital funds and awareness for the work that YMCA’s do with young people throughout the country.

Unfortunately we missed our colleague and friend Joe Fisher from YMCA Norfolk supported lodgings to illness but he was there with us in spirit. Cycles UK on London Street in Norwich even lent me a £2300 bike to do the ride.

“Emotionally, there were lots of highs and lows and I personally found that all the energy we expelled really left me mentally exhausted. I think this helped me through every time I felt like giving up, as I remembered why I was doing the ride and felt how hard it must be for young homeless people to be experiencing these emotional highs and lows on a regular basis.

“I really hope that the ride will highlight the passion and resilience that the YMCA as a whole have whilst trying to help young people build a brighter future for themselves.

“It was a pleasure to do and a massive sense of achievement and thanks to all the riders from other companies who helped us do this. They were amazing people to have around and I’ll never forget the experience.”

Tour de Y is part of a national YMCA fundraising initiative, taking inspiration from the classic Tour de France annual event. Places for the tour were open to the charity’s staff, volunteers and members of the public who wanted to support the efforts of the charity in helping disadvantaged young people. In total, around 20 cyclists took up the challenge.

Graham Oatridge, Tour de Y organiser, said: “Seeing it through to the end meant a lot for the cyclists and their supporters. To spend four days cycling 360 miles through England is a real achievement and I hope we’re able to inspire others to think of and take part in fundraising initiatives like Tour de Y in the future.”

Locally, YMCA Norfolk, provides support and accommodation to around 300 young people. Read more about YMCA Norfolk at www.ymcanorfolk.org

You can still donate to Kevin and Joe’s fundraising appeal page by visiting www.justgiving.com/kevindynes and www.justgiving.com/joebickerdike
Pictured top are the Tour De Y team at Buckingham Palace and, above, Kevin Dynes leads the way with Joe Bickerdike right behind him.

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