Ashe have been raising money for 3 charities this year; The Haven – who provide shelter and targeted support to people in need, across North Hertfordshire; Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – who believe that every dog and cat deserves the best and Bedfordshire Hospitals Charity – who have been supporting Bedfordshire hospitals for over 30 years by providing key funding for vital hospital equipment.
The last leg of Ashe’s fundraising came back in Sept when they embarked on this year’s Extra Mile Challenge. Beginning in Metz, France the 5 Ashe riders, Andrew Morris (Business Development Director), Richard Clay (Finance Director), Justin Howard (Project Director), Dan Armes (Technical Director) and Matt Brandon (Bid Manager), each did their part to cycle 170 miles and over 12,000ft of elevation across a route that saw the team descend down to rivers through Luxembourg and reaching the heights of mountains in the German Black Forrest. With warm weather and challenging climbs, it was a hard day of cycling, but the views certainly made it worth while.
Day two’s route travelled north crossing the boarder between France and Belgium 8 times, to finish the day in Valenciennes, France. Whilst day two was longer in distance at just short of 180 miles, the hills were nicer to our teams with 10,000ft of climbing for the cyclists. Day two had some of the most exciting down-hill sections and saw our braver team members reach top speeds of over 40 miles an hour.
The final day was an emotional one for our challengers, as they cycled into Belgium to finish in the historical city of Ypres. The route was shorter and there were a lot fewer climbs, at 165 miles with 5,000ft of elevation, but the strong winds made it a difficult day of cycling. The excellent route had our cyclists passing notable spots and cemeteries across the Flanders region remembering those who lost their lives in the first world war. Upon finishing the event, our cyclists all watched the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. This moving ceremony is held at 8pm everyday under the Menin Gate memorial and pays tribute to the courage and self-sacrifice of those who lost their lives defending the city of Ypres.
All in, the event was a brilliant weekend, with some challenging cycling, excellent scenery, and an emotional but important end.
Once again the Ashe riders would like to thank Extra Mile Challenges for organising such a fantastic event and take this opportunity to promote the reason for taking part in the challenge.