James Govier + 9 other family members, Devon

Govier1I was very excited to sign up for the Tilnar Cycle Challenge.  On a purely selfish level i find real benefit in having a target to aim for and having that challenge awaiting me is a great motivation to fight my natural instinct to put my feet up. The TCC however offered so much more than meeting my selfish needs, it provided the prefect opportunity to engage the young and old (sorry Mum) in my family and to all get out on our bikes.

My 2 year old son, Daniel, is a bit young to peddle but my bike-shy wife, Sarah, was really keen to take this opportunity to give her some confidence on her bike with the additional challenge of having the destabilising Daniel strapped into a child seat behind her.

My older son, Jake, learned to ride properly last summer and this was a good chance to take that next step and do a bit more than a few laps around the local park.  He was really looking forward to it.

My Mum lives in beautiful Devon and there is a fantastic bike path along the River Exe which she wanted to be able to make the most of.  She has not ridden for years and this provided a great opportunity to get out there and build some confidence.

The flexible nature of the TCC meant that we could organise a day that met everyone's needs.   Our challenges were individual.  For me I wanted to cycle further than I have before.  For my wife and Mum it was an opportunity to do something they had never done before and gain some confidence and Jake wanted to show how far he could go.

I was joined in the morning by my brother, Richard, and Brother-in-law, Andy, and we headed out at 8am on a 38mile route devised by me.  It took us along Devon's Jurassic coastline as far as Sidmouth and then inland to Otterton before heading back cross-country via West Hill and Woodbury  towards Exmouth.  I was not the most popular person as we slogged it up a couple of really challenging hills, particularly in and out of Sidmouth, but "this is a challenge afterall" was my reasoning.   We eventually made it back to the River Exe where we met up with the family which also included Andy's wife (my Sister) Claire and their two kids.  George (5) like Jake was on his unassisted bike and Sophie (4) still rocking the stabilsers.  As we met up at the Exmouth end of the cycle path, there were three  generations of my family and 9 of us in total.  The river path is beautiful scenery and good weather accompanied us the mile and a half to the Ship Inn in Lympstone where we all refueled with a lovely lunch together.

In the afternoon I had planned a less challenging ride for myself, so as the rest of the family headed back down the cycle path motivated by the promise of goody bags, I headed in the opposite direction along the river to Exeter and then back down the other side to Dawlish.  Nice and flat with only a bit of headwind and the occasional spot of rain impeding progress.


The whole day was a great success.  The kids loved it, all of them did extremely well and were proud of what they had achieved.  Jake was very excited to tell his class all about it on Monday.  My Mum and wife also felt a great sense of achievement and now look forward to getting out and about more on their bikes.  I managed 75.2 miles, a personal best for me, but I look forward to bettering that on the TCC 2016.  All this achieved and money raised towards a great cause too (porridge & rice).

Cynthia Smith

Zim4On the 20th June I started my cycle challenge at around 3pm on the Shamva Road. The weather was overcast , freezing cold plus it’s currently winter in Zimbabwe. I selected this particular road due to the limited traffic as it not one of the busier highways. I started off with lots of energy heading one way and then on the return trip back to the start/finish point my energy levels were low. (My own fault not enough training)

I liked the idea that the Tilnar Cycle Challenge presented by allowing the rider to go at their own pace for whatever distance they felt confident and comfortable with. This challenge allows you to see how far you can push yourself on your own steam as opposed to a race where you pushing yourself against the next person.

This challenge has inspired me to get people to sponsor me in next year’s challenge by donating $1 for every kilometre I ride towards VAWZ (Veterinarians for Animal Welfare of Zimbabwe) . This is a charity that I volunteer at, it is focused on helping animals in need (The voiceless). I also like the fact that as well helping raise funds for the selected charities and also encourages people to get fit and healthy at the same time. This will go a long way towards the current obesity crisis and related diseases facing the UK and world over.

The world has forgotten how to appreciate outdoor activities in the fresh air for fun.  Too many Xbox and such games that encourage very little outside interaction.

Plus it got my bike out into the fresh air (the bike was dusty J ) I love the awesome kit for the challenge.

Next year my distance will more than triple and VAWZ will live to fight another day for our fur babies.

John McGrath

JohnMcGrath&SarahWilkinsonThe next story is John McGrath’s who cycled 137.4 miles in the Tilnar Cycle Challenge 40 miles further than he had ever cycled in one day before. John wrote to us:

“Thank you for a great event. I would just like to let you know that having been inspired by the Tilnar Cycle Challenge, I set my own Tilnar Challenge that has been running from the 16th May 2015 and I am raising money for Crisis Newcastle

The challenge I set myself was that for every £1 raised I will ride a mile and since May 16th I have done over 700 miles.

I have also done the Great North Swim, Yorkshire warrior, Allerthorpe triathlon on Sunday the day after my 137.4 miles, the Lakeland loop, Cheshire ride it and Ellerton aqua cycle

We all had a great day. Best part of our day was Me and Fraz Wallace peddling like mad in pouring rain alongside each other and never once thinking of stopping. Charity is the winner. Massive respect to Martin Tickle Holland, Sarah Wilkinson, David Wilkinson, Will Buchanan, & Katherine Butterfield for smashing their goals. But total respect goes to our friends, Linda Hull and her husband Des, who suffers from Parkinson's he still got on the tandem and peddled in the rain. Well done pal you are an inspiration

I entered this due to reading you web page and it helped me push myself to my limit and beyond. So thank you.”

Andrew Smith

Ongar-3Wow! What a day the Tilnar Cycle Challenge was! A big thank you to Tom Hawes and the Tilnar team for putting on this wonderful and inspiring event. I can't believe how successful it has been on so many levels. From the serious cyclists punching out the miles, the families and friends going out for fun, and even the groups touring from pub to pub! And all in the name of charity! I'm looking forward to next year’s event already. Loving the pictures and reports getting posted.  Oh and did I mention I completed 150 miles! The future is bright, the future is the orange of the Tilnar Cycle Challenge!





Fraz Wallace

MartinHolland1152.28 miles that's 100 miles further than I have ever ridden in the past. This event is only going to get bigger as it caters for everyone. Well done to Tom and the Tilnar Cycle Challenge Team. Being involved in the Challenge really did push me on plus the people who kindly sponsored me. Everyone's a winner!






Tom Davies

Tom-DaviesOur next rider story from the TCC is Tom Davies.  Tom raised sponsorship for the British Heart Foundation and had the great idea of asking friends to sponsor him £3.00 each and to guess how far he would cycle in the day.  The person closest got to his actual distance could nominate another charity to donate 50% of the sponsorship pot to.  Tom wrote:


“Well the day went great, thank you Tilnar Cycle Challenge. I got involved as I love a challenge and what with me being a personal trainer and kickboxing instructor I do like to see how hard I can push myself. I’m not a massive cycling fan like some people but I do enjoy riding, makes a change from running lol. I cycled 77 miles on the day and that was a great achievement that I’m proud of, especially as I didn’t do it with company ha. I hope people see the potential in this event and carry on riding towards next year’s event. Great job.”

Dale Waterman

DaleWaterman4Cycled from Grimsby to Pollington and back before doing loops around the local area yes this was the longest ride I've done previous was 168 miles

Hit my realistic target for the challenge despite weather not being ideal and breaking a spoke on rear wheel 35 miles from home had to ride back with a wobbly rear wheel and no brake not ideal but the local mobile cycle repair guy Bike Fix sorted me out on side of road and was soon on my way again enjoyed the challenge visited new places and met up with a friend for 30 miles looking forward to beating my 216 miles next year.

Katherine Butterfield

KatherineButterfieldGot persuaded into competing by some mad friends I have met through open water swimming (NEOWS)  and Darlington Tri club.   I only took up triathlon 2 years ago at the age of 45.   Last Easter I got a second hand road bike and started to do a bit more cycling but not great distance.   For me (until March this year) 30 miles was a long ride.   Then a few friends from the Tri club decided to enter the Velo29 Buttertubs Sportive in May.   I decided I would challenge myself and enter the medium distance of 68 miles. Put in some hard training including hills and managed the event.

As we picked a flat route for the Tilnar, I thought at a push I could get to 100 miles.   Anyway on Sat after 100, I still felt strong and the weather was starting to improve (about 4pm) so I decided to keep going.   Set a new target of 150 miles with Fraz and we pedalled on until 8.40pm and hit our new goal.   A great day was had by all even in the pouring rain and we had people joining our core group of 6 at various stages of the day - some just for the pub lunch but was great to see them all.

More importantly I have raised over £500 for Cancer Research and still getting donations even today so hoping I might get even more.

Thanks for organising the event

Martin & Jackie Justicia - Bolton

Justicia1Martin&JackieBasically we were first inspired to do the @TilnarCycleChallenge because both Managers of @JusticiaBolton Bolton's Fair Trade shop like cycling - we're both renowned for cycling to work year round whatever the weather, however cycling a distance was something we weren't sure about. When we were at a recent @BAFTS conference we were so inspired by a speaker there from @EstherBenjaminsTrust, a small charity working to combat child trafficking in Nepal, that we decided this was it, we had to support this charity and we could do it by cycling.

Although the distance of 50km may not seem that far we also had to manage the shop on the same day and so we set ourselves a time limit of 3 hours (approximately), a time for which our fantastic volunteers were happy to be in charge for, and Martin planned a route that had more hills than Jackie was really happy with! We also invited any of our volunteers and supporters to join us.
On the day there were 5 of us, including Tom, one of our volunteers, who is great at pricing goods and refilling Ecover bottles (a job Jackie is particularly incompetent at!) but not a very experienced cyclist.
Our first challenge on race day was making sure our bike lights worked – not normally a problem in June but with the misty damp conditions more akin to November we needed them.

As we set off Thomas declared he hated riding on the road and going up hills – this was going to be a problem as after the first 6 k we were leaving the trail and basically cycling up hills on the road. John, our camera man and support cyclist, took charge and so he and Tom took a different route. But with John’s encouragement Tom did fantastically managing to cycle on the road and up some hills and completing 30 k, all of which contributed to our company total.
Jackie, Martin and Steve continued on the planned route, Jackie coping with hills and Martin and Steve managing to go as slowly as Jackie up the hills.

We returned to the shop, triumphant and soaked through just over 3 hours after we started and the response to our cause has been fantastic as we’ve raised £1,100, which is enough to provide a temporary school building in a village in Nepal that was destroyed by the earthquakes. Children not in school are so vulnerable to being trafficked as well as missing out on their education.

Doing the Tilnar Cycle challenge has been a fantastic way of getting to know some of our supporters better and really engendered a sense of community as people sponsored us, encouraged us and helped with the shop.

Kevin George

Please read Kevin George's account of his Tilnar Cycle Challenge​ and watch his brilliant video. We promise you will not be disappointed. We are so proud that the Tilnar Cycle Challenge, in its 1st year, has been able to INSPIRE & facilitate rides and charity fundraising like this. #proud This is Kevin's story...

"After Great Ormond Street Hospital saved my sons life 7 years ago I have been eager to help them, last year I signed up for a Trek through Burma but due to health disappointingly had to pull out. A few months ago a friend, Adrian who is a confident cyclist showed me a Tilnar Cycle Challenge flyer.. Although I had a bike, hadn't used it for years! but Adrian planted a seed! “You only go as far as you want too! and you can raise for any charity you want!” I was sold!! A few weeks later I bought my road bike and started little training rides, took part in a couple of SkyRides and could feel myself getting stronger. I set myself the journey we took when airlifted from Newport to GOSH and this would have been 140 miles by road. Due to changed circumstances I rode on my own so changed the route to keep it safer, this was my downfall as distance grew significantly and the tracks were too rough and damaged my knee. This resulted in my journey stopping at Devizes 123 miles in to my ride. Although initially disappointed, I am immensely proud of what I achieved in such a small training time but it wouldn't have happened without the seed planter, Adrian! and the ease of joining in with the Tilnar Challenge.. the thought that hundreds of cyclists were out wearing our orange jerseys raising money for causes that are personal to us all was amazing.

The story doesn't end here either as because of the enjoyment I have found of getting back on two wheels I have also signed up for the 100 mile Prudential Surrey-London ride in August.... All due to a little idea and the Tilnar Cycle Challenge!!!"

Keep Cycling, Liking & Sharing