Pedalling For Pubs Live(ish): Day four

By Chris Lowe

- Last updated on GMT

How is the Pedalling for Pubs challenge going?

Related tags: Charity, Pub & bar, Pub, Brewing

A team of intrepid riders from across the pub sector are going from Dead to Red, cycling over 335kms across Jordan in aid of two great causes, Only a Pavement Away and the Licensed Trade Charity. We'll be charting their progress here, day by day courtesy of the Morning Advertiser's very own publisher Chris Lowe, who's leading from the back...

Day four

Fundraising update​: £257,000

Waking in the Wadi-Rum desert

Our final destination for the day and to complete the trip was Aqaba nearly 100km away through the sand dunes. The previous day prepared us for the off-roading through the desert however, we spent much of the morning walking the bikes through deep sand and changing flat tyres. The temperatures were as low as 4° to begin but quickly rose to more than 25° with no shade for respite. However, the positive was it remained very flat.

The desert felt relentless but a very strung out group of riders eventually emerged next to a check point. Obviously Jordan police aren’t used to seeing a group of British cyclists coming from the desert and after a nervous wait we were afforded a police escort all the way into Aqaba port, our final destination.

Interviews on the bike:

Rider one:

Name:​ Sophie Goodall

Job title:​ Communications director, Star Pubs & Bars

Best moment of the trip:​ the trip has been full of so many different abilities of fitness and cycling experiences. Not saying Paul Pavli is in any way unfit but watching him conquer some of the inclines and in one case I coached him up a rather long hill - I wouldn’t actually let him quit so perhaps it won’t be his favourite moment - but he finished it and it was very emotional.

How much have you raised:​ Currently I have raised £7k however I do have a small raffle event planned on my return so hoping to beat £10k.

Day three

Fund raising update​: £252,618.24

Petra to Wadi Rum Desert

Being 2,500 feet up to start the day, it would be an understatement to say it was cold. The riders have to carry everything they intend to wear that day but there are stops to remove layers so every rider appeared to start the ride by wearing everything they own! 

The flip side of being high is that there is only one way to go, down. So it started a a very quick pace down the mountain roads where we had to turn off into the desert - a daunting task on a bike, and by this point, in very hot conditions.

This was real off-roading following camel trails and needing to ascend steep slopes and deep sand (often requiring a walk). Plenty of flat tyres and several tumbles took its toll on most. 

After a stop in the desert we continued towards our final destination in the evening, a camp in the middle of the Wadi Rum desert. It’s true what they say - a desert is very hot in the day and freezing at night.

Interviews on the bike:

Rider one:

Who:​ Andy Spencer

Job:​ COO, Punch Taverns

Why are you here:​ This is a great and worthwhile cause and hopefully by putting myself through this we can raise lots of money.

Best memory:​ Hearing we have raised over quarter of a million pounds was just an incredible feeling and I’m so pleased and proud to be part of that representing Punch Taverns.

Rider two:

Who:​ David Wigham

Job:​ commercial director, Admiral Taverns

What made you want to sign up for this:​ All of us just love pubs and all the people who work in them. I’m also a keen cyclist.

How much have you raised so far:​ The people that have kindly supported me have given £8,000

Favourite bit so far:​ Cycling along the Dead Sea for miles has just been incredible, despite the bad weather to begin.

Fondest memory:​ Not a fond memory as such, but watching James Nye fall off not once, but twice by trying to show off on his bike. We’re asking for Nye to be entered into the Oxford English Dictionary now, as in, doing something stupid whilst showing off twice in a row is doing a "Nye". 

Day two: 

Fundraising update​: £250,718.24

An early 6am wake up to reach the lunch destination meeting point on time. The ride took the group along the Dead Sea, with the views across to Palestine clear and only six miles on the horizon.

There were a few that dared the waters the night before but even the bravest only a splash. Not from fear of the cold but the warnings by local police that swimming in the sea is now strictly prohibited. 

The morning saw three long climbs which took the legs from most, meaning lunch was a welcome break at around mid-day. We had covered nearly 45km at this point so around half way for the day. After lunch we continued further along the Dead Sea, but mostly flats, Jordanian flat that is, which we were quickly discovering wasn’t very flat! Not only did this impact the cycle but also, as one rider found, a “nature stop” should not be taken above anyone else also on a nature stop, never downhill.  

The destination for the day was the ancient city of Petra which led us away from the borders of Palestine and inland where we had to climb to around 2,000m above sea level. An incredible city habituated by the Nabateans but now a world heritage site - essentially a city carved into the mountain, made famous in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

Interviews on the bike:

Who​: Steve Alton

Job​: CEO of the BII

What kind of training have you done in preparation?​ Steve took the fund raising method of writing to several family brewers and asking for their support in his quest to raise money for Pedalling for Pubs to support The LTC and OAPA. In exchange he cycled every week some very long distances in the UK to search out their beers and give them the exposure on his shirt that he proudly wears covered with their logos and also unashamedly his name down the left sleeve. 

What the other riders have said about Steve?​ Despite the eight hours in a saddle each day, it is highly suspected Steve is actually consuming more calories than he is burning with his everlasting supply of gels and snacks. 

Why has he given his Support?​ Steve, as many will know, does regularly speak to the media to give his support and raise issues to seek awareness for both these charities and the great things pubs do for their communities. In fact, he actually did a radio interview for BBC Derbyshire on his bike today! 

How can you donate to Steve?

BREAKING​: Fundraising has crossed the quarter of a million mark, with the total now standing at £250,253.24. The inquiry is still ongoing as to who donated the 24p...

Day One

Our superb crew of 27 cyclists hit the ground running in Jordan from their flight, well that was the plan...

What was supposed to start with nearly 40km of downhill descent ended up being a transfer to reach the town of Um al Qanafidh. This was due to 50 mph cross winds meaning the guides decided it was unsafe for a group of amateur cyclists fresh off the plane. 

We spent much of the day shocked by how cold it was (four degrees) mainly due to the strong head winds and rain - it doesn’t rain much in Jordan but when it does, it really does. 

After a traditional Jordanian lunch put on with views of the Dead Sea to one side and motorway to the other, there followed a 5.5km steep ascent lasting nearly an hour - a gruelling hill climb for even the regular cyclists amongst the group, who are the minority! 

The afternoon did brighten up so the more expected cycling attire that one would expect in Jordan could be shown off. 

The day saw this team of riders climbing over 3,200 feet and 81km distance.

Interviews on the bike:

Who​: James Brown 

Job​: Managing Director Brew Dog and Co-Founder of Tip Jar

Why are you here​: The industry has had such a hard couple of years with so many people effected I wanted to try and be part of something that could help raise awareness and support a couple of great charities in Only a Pavement Away and The Licensed Trade Charity. When they combined with the Pedalling for pubs initiative I couldn’t say no. I’m a keen cyclist anyway so this really felt right. To date, as a team we have raised over £250k so I’m really pleased I am part of this and to do my bit.

Something funny​: James was the only member who thought bringing his own fancy bike was a good idea and has been ribbed relentlessly! 

Rider number 2

Who​: Sam Hagger

Job​: Founder of the Beautiful Pub Collective

Why are you here​: During the pandemic so many of my fellow licensees that I have seen first hand in Leicester or heard about have been really struggling and not knowing where to turn. The LTC has provides an amazing support net for exactly these type of people and my hope is that I can help create a bit of awareness and also raise a bit of money along the way.

Raised so far: Over £9k! 

Link to donate to Sam:

Thoughts about Jordan​: Its a stunning place with the Dead Sea, we have also gone to the place where Jesus was Baptised this morning but it has surprised me with how cold it is. Maybe its the rain and wind but I thought I would need sun tan lotion not a rain mac!

To donate to the teams ongoing efforts, and learn more about the challenge and the people undertaking it, click here​.

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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