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News & Media

Media Release


1st September 2010

An uphill climb for charity

Cycling uphill might be a bit of a challenge for a lot of us, so just imagine the kind of willpower you would need to cycle up a mountain!

Jim Grant, Physiotherapy Manager at the Royal United Hospital, did just that, cycling through the Pyrenees, which included ascents totalling over 12,500m.

In just six days, Jim completed a 600km cycle ride with 17 other cyclists, following the three stages of this year’s Tour de France - taking in 13 mountain passes, including the 2115m Col du Tourmalet in both directions.

Jim undertook the challenge in order to raise money for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. He says: "This is the second time I’ve done the ride and I definitely coped better this year. I think a combination of better mental and physical preparation, lower gears and more food all helped!

"Climbing Cols du Peyresourd, Aspin and Tourmalet - a total climb of about 3600m - was the hardest day, the weather was wet and cold. The longest day was a 130km stretch in temperatures of up to 48 degrees, I had to sit on a rock with my feet in the river to cool off. The climb was slow, each kilometer took up to 10 minutes to ride, but the descents were exhilarating, with speeds of up to 80kph. The scenery was magnificent and I felt very lucky to be able to see it.

"It was a great challenge to be a part of, and I was glad to be able to experience the thrill of doing something amazing for such a good cause. So far I’ve raised £1000, towards a target of £1700, which will help towards the costs of guide dogs for blind or partially sighted people."

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