St Mary's Church
Airfield Recreation Ground
By Haddenham Webteam - 1st May 2021 10:30am
Brompton bikes are favoured by commuters who value their ability to fold up into a transportable package to take on trains or to pop into the boot of a car.
They do have their limitations, however — not least the small circumference of the wheels, which makes cycling on Bromptons more challenging than standard wheeled bikes in terms of the effort required to cover a given distance: smaller wheels mean a shorter distance travelled per full rotation of the pedals — the physics of gearing and all that!
So, how far would you feel comfortable peddling a Brompton?
Twenty three miles sounds like quite a trek, does it not?
And what if we add some very serious hill climbing into the mix?
The National Three Peaks Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales. The total walking distance is 23 miles (37km) and the total ascent is 3064 metres (10,052ft).
A group of local adventurers have accepted the challenge of taking on the National Peaks, cycling between and summiting the three peaks while on Brompton folding bikes. Not only that, but they also plan to take a Brompton to the summit of each of the three peaks across three days!
All this in aid of the Ruth Strauss Foundation — see below.
Here's their plan:
The day before the challenge starts, the team will drive to the start hotel near Snowdon (Pen Y Gwryd Hotel)
DAY 1 — Estimated time 19 hours
3am — Hike Snowdon 1,085 metres — allotted time: 4 hours
7am — Cycle from Snowdon to Kendal — 152 miles (245 Kilometres) — allotted time: 15 hours
Hotel overnight in Kendal
DAY 2- Estimated total time 17 hours
5am — Cycle to Scafell (Ambleside) 21 miles (34 kilometres) — allotted time: 2 hours
7am — Hike Scafell Pike 978 metres — allotted time: 5 hours. Return hike to Seathwaite
12 noon — Cycle from Seathwaite to Crawford Biggar 97 miles (175 kilometres) — allotted time: 10 hours
Hotel overnight in Crawford
DAY 3 — Estimated total time 15 hours
4am — Cycle to Fort William 149 miles (240 kilometres) — allotted time: 15 hours
7pm — Hike Ben Nevis 1,345 metres — allotted time: 7 hours.
Overnight at Ben Nevis Inn.
The Charity — The Ruth Strauss Foundation
A great challenge deserves to be paired with a great charity and as such the group will be raising money for the Ruth Strauss Foundation (Registered Charity No.1183221): "Supporting families facing the death of a parent from cancer & driving the need for more research into non-smoking lung cancers".
And great news: the England & Wales Cricket Board has agreed to match fund anything raised up to £25,000, and run a number of articles across their social media platforms to promote this 'Cycle the Summits Challenge'.
Brompton bikes are also supporting this record attempt and have provided customised "Ruth Strauss Foundation" bikes for the challenge and an additional bike that can be auctioned for charity later in the year.
Garmin have also confirmed that they will help to support the project with navigational tools and body metric technology to assist the team in its journey.
Sir Andrew Strauss will also participate in helping to raise awareness of the challenge and on the designated day of the India Test, Lords will turn 'Red for Ruth' (the dedicated day for the Ruth Strauss charity).
Who are these ambitious (read mad?) folk?
The brave team includes Scott Smith, Rachael Smith, Gavin Bewick, Nick Maltby and Matt Pryke. The first four are all very local residents, and Matt is a close friend based across the county border in Hertfordshire.
All five are outdoor enthusiasts and clearly know what they're letting themselves in for, given previous activities climbing some of the world's most notorious mountains (Everest, Mont Blanc, Kilimanjaro), 4 x 250km self-supported ultra-marathons across some of the most remote deserts on the planet(Antarctica, Sahara, Gobi, Atacama) and cycled 1000's of kilometres across various events.
Says Nick Maltby: "It's going to be a really tough challenge but we are determined to succeed and would warmly welcome any and all individual contributions to our fund-raising efforts, however large or small. Our fundraising page is here"