FIVE cyclists left the Aust Services in the shadow of the Severn Bridge at midnight last Saturday (May 20) with the aim of being in the most northerly village in Wales later that same day.
The 210-mile, or 340km, ride from the south-eastern tip of Wales to Cemaes Bay on Anglesey was the idea of Mark Jordan from Caldicot.
He was joined by friends and fellow triathletes Neil Atherton, Martin Colston, Viktoriia Gudyma, Rog Davis and Sean Bird for the marathon ride in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.
The ride took them through the Wye Valley to Monmouth and then onto Hay-on-Wye, Newtown, throuigh the Snowdonia National Park and across the Menai Bridge and island of Anglesey to Cemaes Bay.
The support car was driven by Mark’s wife, Martha.
The ride included climbing the equivalent of Snowdon, the highest mountain in England and Wales, three times.
The group started earlier than originally planned after being promised a reception at the Stag Inn, the most northerly pub in Wales.
Electrician Mark explained: “I was chatting to the guy (at the Stag) about food when we get there and he’s turned it into a big welcoming party.
“We’ve rearranged the start time from 4.30am to midnight because we need to get by 8pm or 9pm.”
Mark and Viktoriia, who is from Kyiv, started out on the ride last year but had to abandon it because of the effects of Covid that Mark had contracted previously.
He said: “Me and Viktoriia tried this last year but I had Covid two weeks prior to doing it and 100 miles in, at Newtown, I called it a day.
“Last year we tried Macmillan Cancer and this year I was looking for another big charity.
“There’s no personal story but there are millions of people in the UK affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s.”
The group caught up with Scott Nicholls who had started the ride two days before to finish together at the Stag Inn.
Mark said: “The finish after cycling over 210 miles and climbing about 5500 metres was a welcome for sore eyes.
“A marvellous reception awaited us from Gwyn, Dee and his regulars of The Stag in Cemaes Bay.”
They completed the challenge 20 minutes ahead of the 20-hour schedule.
They had cycled a total of 215 miles, made up of 64,000 pedal revolutions, 18,773 of climbing and in the saddle for 18 hours.
Some £1,500 has been pledged on the Ride Wales in a Day 340 2023 JustGiving page, around 150 per cent of the £1,000 target.
Mark says he is already planning the 2024 adventure.