Boost for charity from cross-Britain ride
An island resident’s 980-mile end-to-end bicycle trip in Britain raised a total of $20,000 for four Bermudian charities.
William Lawrence completed the nine-day cycling trip from Land’s End, in Cornwall, England, to John o’Groats, in Caithness, Scotland, as part of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain.
Mr Lawrence said that it was the first time he had taken part in a multi-day cycling event.
He added: “All I had to do was think about riding the bike, thank God.”
Mr Lawrence, from Paget, said that the trip had two purposes — to mark his 60th birthday and to raise funds for island organisations.
He added his wife, Felicity, suggested he also use the trip as a way to raise cash for good causes.
Mr Lawrence said: “The charities didn’t know I was doing it at all until I called them up two weeks ago.”
The money raised was divided between four groups — Bermuda Autism Support and Education Society, Focus Counselling Service, Project 100, and the Salvation Army.
Mr Lawrence said it felt great to be able to tell each group that they would get $5,000.
He added: “They were all really appreciative. Charity money is hard to find at the moment.”
Mr Lawrence, a keen cyclist, said that he took part in several rides each week with the Bicycle Works cycling club.
He added that he had done “about a year’s worth of training” under coach Grant Goudge, the owner of Bicycle Works in Hamilton.
Mr Lawrence said: “He fixed me up with a training plan and a great bike. That was all the difference.”
But he said that Mr Goudge was not the only supporter he had.
Mr Lawrence added: “I want to thank all the people that helped me train. There was a bunch of them.”
He also thanked his wife for putting up with his training schedule, which often meant 4.30am starts.
Mr Lawrence said: “She didn’t have to get up — she just had to put up with me disturbing her.”
Ms Lawrence and a friend followed her husband in a car as he did the gruelling trip.
The event also overlapped with the couple’s 32nd wedding anniversary.
Ms Lawrence said the ride experience was exciting, but also “nerve-racking” at times.
She added: “Some of the roads they had cyclists going down were not really meant for bigger Jeeps.”
She said that her husband’s participation made her “extremely proud” and that she never had any doubt that he would be able to finish the ride.
Ms Lawrence added: “Once he put his mind to it, he was going to do it no matter what.”
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