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Steve Rogers raises over £2000 for Parkinsons UK

Having committed to doing a sponsored cycle ride to raise awareness and research money to cure Parkinson's Disease, the big day arrived. There was no turning back now as we had already raised over £1400 (approx 1900 €) before we started. We had to get up early to catch the 08:00 ferry from Portsmouth to Fishguard, where we had breakfast. By 10:00 we were raring to go, and around 70 riders set off to do either a 21 mile (33km), 41 mile (66km) or 59 mile (94km) route. Nicola and I had chosen to do the medium route of 41 miles.

The route took us from Newport, the island's 'capital' town, north east towards Wooton Bridge (near to where the ferry had brought us to the island) and then south west to Brading for the first official check point. By that time, I had already come close to being knocked off my bike by a motorist that pulled out in front of me and suddenly stopped in the middle of the road lane. I couldn't get out of that town quickly enough!

Further along, we cycled through beautiful countryside, up horrendously long slow hills, along twisty roads and down the other side at wreckless speeds! We had brought our own support team - my partner Alison was driving my car, Chris (my son) was waving flags out of the window, whilst Stuart, my brother with Parkinsons was taking photos as they overtook us. They would drive to a safe place ahead of us to allow us to stop for a moment to catch our breath, take a drink and eat an energy bar. They also provided encouragement whenever we were looking like we needed it!

From Brading, we travelled south west to Hale Common and then due south into Ventnor. It was along here that the sun came out for a while and we started to get a bit too hot. We pushed on aong the south coast for a while, before turning inland to Whitwell, and then back to the coast road at Blackgang Chine and Chale - now over half way through the course.

The second checkpoint was still 10 miles away, but we benefitted from a few long downhill runs which balanced out all those long, slow hills we had endured. We arrived at Brighstone public car park for the second checkpoint at around 15:00. It had taken us around 5 hours so far, but that included stops for refreshment, official checking in, lunch and comfort breaks.

Time to set off for the last quarter of the route, heading north towards Calbourne and then east north east along a ridge of hills (although we had to climb up them first!) and down the other side into Newport and Seaclose park where we had started. Our Support Team had arrived before us, of course, and greeted us to a hero's welcome along with the other riders who had arrived ahead of us, and the Parkinsons Event Team crew. Our medals safely around our necks, we felt as though we had personally achieved something as well as raised a lot of money for Parkinsons.

What made it even better for us was that they announced that the event had so far raised around £6000, and we knew that we had raised a quarter of that ourselves! Brilliant effort! We packed up our bikes on the back of the car and headed back to catch an earlier ferry to Portsmouth, and home. We celebrated that evening in an Italian restaurant with a nice cold beer!

Donations for sponsorship will be accepted up to 16th October 2015, and we have now raised almost £2000 (as of 5th September). If you'd like to add to our fantastic achievement, please visit