The original date in June for the Downslink Challenge had to be cancelled as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. As it was impossible to hold the usual family fun day and bike ride that starts and finishes at the Garibaldi Pub in Knaphill.
In what would have been its fifth year the team were hoping to reach their 100k fundraising target which each year supports Woking & Sam Beare Hospices alongside another local charity which for 2020 is Your Sanctuary, a local women’s refuge
The Downslink challenge is an off road cycling event along the old Downs link railway line where the riders either ride back from Brighton to Knaphill- Challenge ride (approx 48 miles) or ride from Knaphill to Brighton & back again the same day- Century ride (approx. 96 miles).
Undeterred and in a very short space of time the Downslink Team made plans to still take on the challenge but in smaller groups over six weekends starting on the 25 July.
A total of 36 riders have taken on the challenge with a whole range of weather conditions to contend with strong winds, pouring rain and sunshine. Woking & Sam Beare Hospice trustee and owner of Trident Garages Richard Roberts, who is also the main sponsor for the Downslink Challenge each year, took on the ride in week 4 when the team had to form a human chain to carry the bikes over fallen trees along the routes. At least it was break from the saddle!
A very special mention must go to Steve McKeown for not only organising the ride, cyclists, volunteers and transport but for also taking part each week riding 96 miles each time and helping the riders along the way. A complete superstar who now deserves a well-earned rest from the saddle.
“Having set an original target of £5,000 for 2020 the current total is an incredible £12,368.01 including gift aid” commented Phil Wormley Director of Fundraising “We are so grateful to all involved with the Downslink Challenge in a year where fundraising has been so difficult for so many charities up and down the country they have gone above and beyond with their support. On behalf of everyone at the hospice we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved.”
There is still one final Downslink 2020 ride to take place on Sunday 4 October which will include Woking FC manager Alan Dowse, Martin Tyler, Scott Steele and club captain Josh Casey. If you would like to show your support come along to the Garibaldi in Knaphill and cheer them home.
To support Woking & Sam Beare Hospices and Your Sanctuary you can make a donation on the link below.