The Care after Combat Pickle Ride event returned for 2019 after its first successful outing in 2018. After the very challenging and sometimes tearful events of 2018 we had some participants return for its second year, bonkers.
This year the weather was very different as the riders basked in 20+ degrees heat (you could of swam last year). Thirteen riders set off from Falmouth to cycle 313 miles to the Admiralty in London over 3 days, there was serving Armed Forces personnel, Veterans and our first full civilian taking on the challenge. Day one that some consider as being the worst of the 3 days seen the organiser CPO Gav Tuach snap his bike chain after only 14 miles whilst tackling the first hill of many out of Cornwall. Not a good start you would think, although the rest of the team took the opportunity to grab a coffee and early lunch in Waitrose whilst the support driver was tasked to Halfords for a new bike chain. Day one was completed not long before sunset as we arrived at CTCRM Lympstone, 115 miles cycled.
Day two, we are off to Salisbury. If anyone knows about Monument Hill then they will understand that is what the majority of riders will remember. The hill is that steep the two former Royal Marines (Sean Foley, Big Mike) had a half hour break and cup of tea before tackling the very unforgiving hill. Arriving in Salisbury after another 100+ miles cycled we were accommodated at Salisbury Sea Cadets that we very much appreciated due to its strategic position. Although, sleeping on an office floor did not do wonders for the riders legs or backs.Day three, London here we come. Everyone in good spirits, a very hot day but a well deserved pint of beer awaited our arrival. The Trafalgar Way is a very challenging route to cycle. With team effort, camaraderie and the knowledge that you are helping Veterans and their families its all you need to push through that mental and physical barrier to give it your all. Thank you to all that participated, supported and donated. Until next year...?