We’re signed up. We’ve told everyone. There’s no turning back now!

Last week we introduced the Ashgate Hospice team taking on the Hope Valley Mountain Bike Challenge, if you missed it take a look here. Here’s an update on how their preparation is going…

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We’re signed up. We’ve told everyone. There’s no turning back now!

The Ashgate MTB team all have a professional connection to Ashgate Hospicecare and we want to do our bit to help patients and their families across North Derbyshire. We are: Matt, Director of HR & Support Services; Chris, a Doctor; Mark, Head Chef; and Jonathan, husband of Ashgate’s Director of Quality & Patient Care.

In just a few weeks, we’ll be taking on the Hope Valley Mountain Bike Challenge on Saturday 23rd September 2017 – 28 miles of mountain biking through the toughest parts of the Peak District (including over 4,000 feet of climbing)

Polaris Bikewear are supporters of Ashgate Hospicecare and have provided us with branded kit.

The weather over the bank holiday weekend proved to be too good to miss, so Chris, Jonathan and Matt met up at the Norfolk Arms on Ringinglow Road in Sheffield to set out for a slightly longer training session.  We headed straight over to Redmires Reservoir for our first ‘off road’ climb up to Stanage Pole.

From there, it was a fantastic descent down the iconic Stanage Edge (making sure we didn’t make too much of a nuisance of ourselves with the walkers and climbers) followed by the long climb up the road to Burbage.

It was during this climb that the road cyclists’ experience became apparent, as Jonathan and Chris steadily pulled away from Matt before he finally caught them at the top!

A short bit of road works led us to Lady Cannings Plantation and a fun blast down the ‘Cooking On Gas’ man-made trail.  It turned out to be Matt’s turn to wait for the ‘roadies’ at the bottom!

We went on across Houndkirk Moor before a fast, technical descent – Blacka Moor and a climb back to the pub.  We managed to clock up around 25 miles and 3,000 feet – not so far off the challenge itself and without a single injury or mechanical issue.

That changed a few days later as Matt, out for a solo ride in the Peaks, lost his grip and went over the bars, picking up a few scrapes and grazes, some bruised ribs and a bent derailleur hanger.  This made for a slow journey back home.

The difference in uphill and downhill abilities in the team is becoming clearer, but with only 3 weeks to go, we’re hoping there will be no more injuries or issues which could hinder us on the 23rd.  Next weekend, we’ll be putting our new Polaris kit through it’s paces and reviewing how it performs ‘in the field’.  So far, we’ve been really impressed with the looks, fit and quality of materials, as well as innovations like detachable bracing on the Discovery Zoned Trail Shorts.

We’ve set up a Virgin Money Giving Page and have set ourselves a target to raise £1,000 for Ashgate Hospicecare. We really appreciate your support and thank you for any donations.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/AshgateMTB

Please help us meet and break our target!

£1,000 could pay for 13 visits to patients in their home. Giving them the choice of where they are cared for and allowing them to remain with their loved ones when it matters most.

Matt, Chris, Mark and Jonathan

For more information about the Hospice and ways that you can get involved, please visit the website: https://www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk/