Epic bike ride to rival Everest bid!
Five friends braved brutal weather and broken bones for an epic 500 mile bike ride to raise over Â£5,600 for charity.
Every year the gang of keen cyclists - all of whom either work for, or are otherwise connected to, E.ON in Annesley - do a fundraising ride for local charities which has generated an astonishing £90,000 so far.
But this challenge saw Neil Green, Kev Bryant, Mark Hornby, Nick Saxton and Geoff Hickman climbing 27,000 feet across the five days - a remarkable feat when you consider Mount Everest peaks at 29,030 feet above sea level.
Nick, from Hucknall, said: “It was brutal, I mean really brutal. With two of the boys popping painkillers just to keep going and one ending up in Inverness A&E with a broken collar bone you can tell it took its toll on us.
“It wasn’t just the incessant storms of days one and two, the seven hail storm showers, the gale force headwinds, cross winds and tail winds, it was the cold and dampness.
And the climbs. Yes there were plenty of hills to go up.
“But for sheer beauty there can be no place like the west coast of Scotland.”
The team kept a diary of their tour de force and recorded in painstaking detail the injuries and obstacles which beset them:
“On day one Nick managed to mangle his bike, good planning meant we had a spare in the van following us.
“Unfortunately, that spare wasn’t set up for Nick and very quickly he developed a knee soreness which started the pill popping. Mark’s knees then started to give him some gip, so the team mood wasn’t buoyant.
“Thankfully a good old Applecross Inn sing along until past midnight fuelled by beer and whisky saw us retire a little happier.
“The swing north of day two meant we were no longer cycling into a headwind all day long.
“As the road twisted and turned around the coastline to Ullapool the winds varied from cross wind to headwind to cross wind and tail wind. With over 6,500 feet of climbing it was another tough day.”
Day three saw Geoff come crashing to the ground whilst travelling about 35mph breaking a collar bone.
Nick said: “Fortunately, the van was nearby and he was soon on his way to hospital.
“Day four was a day of sunshine and vicious cross winds. Mark stormed up the hills and left everyone trailing in his wake.
“Following our visit to John o Groats, the vicious cross wind became a vicious headwind for the run into Wick.
“Day five brought sunshine, light winds and a glorious picnic lunch.”
The riders returned to a hero’s welcome at work as everyone had followed a diary of their adventure - with some spectacular images - which can be seen at www.skegnessbikeride.co.uk/scotland500