The North 450 is the longest route on Hero Ride this year and, some might say, the best.
The team woke up this morning in Edinburgh and rode to a local school called Stewart’s Melville Collage where Band of Brothers member JJ Chalmers met the riders and his brother, a teacher at the school, began the set off ceremony.
With all the riders lined up outside the beautiful school, Band of Brother Jamie Hull took the honour of laying the wreath at the memorial before leading the way to begin the epic week long bike ride traversing a whopping 450 miles down to Windsor in just seven days!
Today’s route out of the city was straightforward and, by midday, the riders were well and truly flying. Lunch stop was reached a full 30mins ahead of schedule and that included taking time out for a few media interviews along the way! However, following lunch came a gruelling eight miles of deceptively steep undulations (we’re banned from calling them hills!). With a steady flow of Jelly Babies - a cyclist's ‘must have’ accessory - the ‘undulations’ soon were completely masked by the outrageously beautiful setting through the Scottish Borders and on to our final water stop.
The final stint made up the last 11 miles of the 50 mile journey today to arrive at our overnight stop in Kelso. After a solid day’s riding and a few minor tweaks to the bikes along the way by the amazing support crew everyone has done brilliantly. One question on everyone’s lips though: ‘what time is dinner?’
Giles Evans, a supporter taking part in Hero Ride 2015, said he was "completely blown away but the work of Help for Heroes" when he first visited the Recovery Centre in Catterick in 2012. Since then he has met several veterans who have been supported by H4H and they have been inspired to continue supporting the Charity.
Another supporter and fellow Hero Rider, Leon Martin, is celebrating his 36th birthday whilst on Hero Ride. Leon said, “I used to cycle to university nearly 20 years ago but had not been on a bike since! I bought a bike in March this year to do the Hero Ride and have been training for the ride ever since, mostly around Northumberland area,
"By helping support H4H, I feel I can go a little further and help those after they get injured at work. Supporting the charity lets me play a small part in giving something back to those that have given a great deal for all of us.”
Tomorrow we cross the border into England... until then!