Cycling

Felix Rides To Slovenia For Charity: Update

Felix Leckie (see the original post here) writes with an update about his cycle to and from Slovenia:

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 09.06.54Hi – For those of you who have sponsored me – Thank You! For those who haven’t heard what I got up to this summer with my dad then please spend five minutes and read on!

We arrived home about a month ago now and I’m back at school. The ride back from Slovenia, across 9 countries and 2,200 km,  seems like a distant memory!

So far we’ve raised £9,400 for the Children’s Bereavement Centre which is almost twice our original target, so many, many thanks to everyone who went onto my JustGiving page and generously donated to this amazing charity. 

I had an amazing trip – no crashes or injuries and everything worked out to plan. Quite incredibly my dad didn’t even get a puncture!

We wrote a daily blog with photos and I’ve attached an excerpt [see below] as a taster!

If you haven’t sponsored us but would like to you can still visit the Just Giving page and help us hit our £10k target.

Thank you again – our support for the Children’s Bereavement Centre will continue and “Felix Rides for Charity” will be back! My dad fancies Ankara to Tehran next year but we have some selling to do at home before we can start planning!!

Kind regards

Felix

Scroll below the photos for an account of Felix and Justin’s (his dad) final day on the road…

…and Justin, Felix’s dad writes:

Day 26: The Last Day

So this is it, our last blog of the trip. You’ll no longer see pictures of every meal we’ve consumed or hear how often we got lost. No more rants about the weather or history lessons about obscure monuments. (Rest assured most was cut and pasted from the guidebook or just made up if I thought it wasn’t exciting enough!)

The day started with a three cord “Hi Dee Hi” style xylophone announcement at 6 am. The dulcet Spanish tones of Carlos telling us that we would soon be docking woke us from deep sleeps in our luxury cabin. 

Today could have been so very different if we’d missed the boat, and briefly Felix and I talked about how stressed we were in those final moments just before the ship sailed. 

But today everything was going to be fine! The weather was grey but our spirits were high. Today we would be home.

We put on the clean shirts that we’d been saving for day 26 and packed up our panniers for the last time. We left our half empty toothpaste and Pringles tubes in the cabin and took the lift down to the cargo deck.

All the lorries had gone as we unlocked our bikes for the very last time and cycled off the ramp onto home soil. We high-fived as we left the steel and peddled up the road to Passport control, taking great satisfaction from passing 20 or so cars who were waiting in the queue.

A quick photo in front of the Pride of Rotterdam and we were off in search of a McDonalds breakfast. 

We had some time to kill before we were due to meet up with our friends who were meeting us on the Humber Bridge so took the 10 mile ride in to Hessle nice and steady.

It was great to catch up and ride as a group and although we were cycling much quicker than we normally would it was made easier by the guys taking it in turns to shield us from the headwinds that had followed us over the North Sea. 

Normally, on the hills we would have slowed right down and had a bit of a moan but today, with company, we just got on with it!

As we approached the last few hundred metres our cycling companions peeled off to let Felix and I lead the group home.

We glanced sideways at each other, we didn’t need to say anything. 

It was great to see so many friends cheering us on. The ladies from the Charity were there as were many of our friends from school. India had made a fantastic “Welcome home” banner and Myrto and her mum had baked cakes and cooked sausages. 

All I can remember now is eating everything! Crisps followed by carrot cake, a cup of tea, a hot dog, then more crisps and a beer. It must have been a strange sight!

People said they’d miss the blog and couldn’t believe that we weren’t as fat as barrels given all the food that we’d eaten. I also got some stick for my navigation skills and for my beard – from the kids at least. Except George Coen who said I should keep it so that “people will think it’s amazing that such an old man can cycle so far!”

Gradually people started to drift away leaving us to unpack our bags and finish the sausages!

It will feel very strange not cycling everyday and I’m sure it will take a little time to settle back in to normal life. For the last month Felix and I have been each other’s shadows – I’ve looked after him and he’s looked after me! 

Someone asked me if there was a time during the 26 days when we didn’t think we could do it, was it ever too hard? The truth is it wasn’t too hard, we got fit on our bikes and as long as we took it steady, kept ourselves fed and kept laughing then the miles and the days ticked on.

What had started as a pipe dream a couple of years ago had become a reality. From the moment we got our first sponsor there was no turning back. We were committed! 

So when Felix said to me, as we crossed the finish line, “we’ve only gone and bloody done it Rodney”he was right – we had finished what we’d started.

The local paper were there to photograph the homecoming and interviewed us afterwards. We were asked why we’d chosen to do this to which we said we wanted to do something to remember and try raise a bit of money for charity. 

What I didn’t tell them is that when I was Felix’s age my dad had promised to take me camping, just the two of us. I remember making list after list of the things we’d need and packing and unpacking my rucksack. But my dad was always too busy and he never found the time to do the camping trip. 

When I had kids I said to myself that that wouldn’t happen. Life’s too short and kids grow up too fast!

So now the bikes are cleaned, oiled and put away. The justgiving site is clicking up towards £10k and all that’s left to do is thank everyone who has supported us. 

The encouragement and sponsorship we’ve had from businesses, friends and family has been tremendous, far greater than we could have imagined or hoped for. So thank you for that. 

Our highlights? So many! Sleeping in the straw, meeting Super Cycling Man, Weissbeir, The Green Water slide in Basel, Swiss Water troughs, Food in Strasbourg, getting on that boat and our homecoming welcome.

Our lowlights? Hardly any! The moment of panic and despair when we arrived at the ferry terminal to find it all locked up!

0 – crashes, punctures (for me!)

1 – beard

2 – sound & light shows, waterparks 

3 – broken spokes

4 – nights in the straw

9 – countries

Lots of croissants, salami & cheese sandwiches, weissbeirs & Ladies of the night!!

26 – days on the road

1,450 – miles for 1 Great Cause

There are more daily updates on Felix and Justin’s website, Felix Rides For Charity. Good luck to them both for future adventures!

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