This weekend (22nd & 23rd March 2014) saw a group of Thanet RC riders take part in the annual Thanet RC Eastbourne weekend. Setting off from St Nicholas in a couple of groups around 8:30am Saturday morning the riders endured a head wind & occasional shower for much of the 80+ miles with just 4 riders opting for the longer route to take in Beachy Head & a few riders did some laps of the prom to make their ride over the century! For the welcoming committee of Nicki Robinson & myself (Teresa Childs) we arrived early afternoon in Eastbourne with loaded down cars and kids eager to play crazy golf (despite the soggy courses and occasional showers!).

The whole group arrived back at The Savoy Court Hotel by around 6pm and we thank the hotel for their hospitality and accommodating the group and bikes. The group including lots of families enjoyed a well earned dinner around 7pm and a relaxed evening in the bar with mainly soft drinks before trying to get in a good night’s sleep.

For our 4 youngest riders Sunday morning was met with the realisation that this was it the time had come to get on their bikes and take on their challenge to ride from Eastbourne to Thanet! Keen and smiley as they left they were truely inspirational and the whole group heading round the roundabout was a sight to behold! (Shame I was driving, so no camera!) The group beat the cars to stop in Rye as the cars got held up thanks to diversions due to the Hastings Half Marathon which the riders enjoyed a few cheers from their spectators as they continued through the closed roads!

Arriving at the later than usual lunch stop at The Lord Whisky Tea rooms in Stelling Minnis having completed much of the days climbing and 61 miles from Eastbourne by that point the lads looked very tired but still determined. Refueled and with the knowledge that the route was mainly flat for the remaining 20 miles the group set off again. I am sure the boys thank all of the adults (including their own parents who rode, Helen with Jack & Luke, Colin with Flynn and Chris with Lance) who rode with them and kept them safe, fuelled, gave them a wheel to suck when required and even on some of the hills they tackled gave them a shove in the right direction.

A weary group started arriving back in St Nicholas around 4:45pm Sunday evening and the achievement of Luke, Jack, Lance and Flynn started to sink in, They had made it they had ridden the 80 miles including some +3000 ft of climbing and at the latest count the sponsorship page has raised £635 including gift aid with a number of offline sponsors taking that total over £700. If you haven’t already sponsored them and you’d like to please do because the boys worked so hard to do their challenge they really are keen to raise all they can for Sport Relief and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research the link to their sponsorship page is or we can take offline donations please see either myself, Colin or Helen. The sponsorship page will remain open for 3 months so you still have time to donate and support the boys.

A huge thank you goes to Dave Mastin for masterminding the logistics and the money, all the riders for making it happen, the helpers, Jim Dickson as official photographer, the hotel, the staff at Cafe stops and of course everyone who supported and sponsored the boys along the way.

A great weekend even for those of us who didn’t ride including Max & Leo!

I wonder how many riders woke up this morning saying roll on next year!

By Teresa Childs