Rod Alexander, aged 72, completed a mammoth 700 mile charity cycle challenge in aid of Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity in extreme conditions during July’s heatwave.
With temperatures topping 35 degrees, and being consistently hot and humid all last week, the rides turned into an even more of an endurance challenge than planned.
Rod said: “My lowest point of the week was towards the end of Day 3 when I ran out of water and also took a wrong turning up some very steep hills.
"Thursday, when temperatures reached record levels, was unquestionably one of the toughest days of my life. It was almost impossible to take on sufficient fluid and I had to stop much more frequently for breaks."
Rod’s wife, Jacky, who died aged just 58 last year, spent the final few weeks of her life at the Hospice after over a year spent battling with great courage and dignity against a very aggressive brain tumour.
July 29th was the first anniversary of Jacky’s death and Rod wanted to do something practical to acknowledge the extraordinary care which was provided by Florence Nightingale Hospice.
Rod completed the first 600 miles in six days around the undulating Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside.
The final 100 miles was completed on a static bike on Saturday 27th July outside the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity Shop in Thame where he volunteers two days each week.
“The final day outside the Florence Nightingale shop in Thame was very special. My four children were there all day with collection buckets, along with two nieces plus other relations, local friends and work colleagues of Jacky came to visit in their droves. Despite the rather damp and dreary weather, there was lots of laughter and fun and, quite apart from all the money raised, it represented a lovely tribute to Jacky, as we approached the first anniversary of her death.”
Rod’s challenge has already raised over £18,000 for the Charity. He funded all his own costs, so every pound raised will go directly to the Hospice.
If you would like to support Rod’s challenge donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rods700 or by contacting Rod on firstname.lastname@example.org