Riders on the Storm

6 March 2020

In the wake of Storm Dennis, three intrepid Year 10 students defied the elements to cycle all the way from Cardiff to Witney. In the process, they braved hail storms, flooding, storm damage and some truly awful flapjacks to raise £3,070 for Cancer Research.   

Greta, Alice and Megan came up with the idea sitting around one break-time only three weeks ago. For a joke, Greta said, ‘Let’s go on a cycling holiday.’ This seemed especially funny because none of the girls cycled on a regular basis. And yet what started as a joke soon turned into a reality, once they decided to raise money for Cancer Research.  

‘We’re told about the idea of appreciating how fortunate we are quite often at school, and of the need to give something back,’ said Alice. And because the girls have all had relatives or family friends affected by cancer, this seemed the right cause to fight for.  

Inspired by their cause, the girls set about telling teachers and friends about their ride. Training sessions were conducted with concerned dads, while the girls started cycling whenever and wherever they could – to swimming, to school, to meet-ups with friends. 

When the week of the ride finally arrived, the girls had already smashed their original target of raising £1,000 for Cancer Research – but the damage and continuing high winds from Storm Dennis were a worry. At the last minute, the girls decided to reverse their route, opting to cycle from Cardiff to Witney instead of the other way round 

This change of route gave the girls a strong tail-wind, but the going was still tough due to the storm damage they encountered, especially on the first day. ‘Even in the first hour there were lots of tracks covered in branches and flooded roads,’ said Megan. ‘The first day was definitely the worst,’ agreed Greta. ‘Remember crossing the Severn Bridge?’ There follows a harrowing account of crossing the bridge in high winds, with lorries whooshing past a few feet away.  

We’re told about the idea of appreciating how fortunate we are quite often at school, and of the need to give something back.

Fortunately, the girls had a dedicated support team with them in the form of Alice’s mum, and the ride grew easier on the second and third days. ‘The last day was definitely my favourite,’ said Megan. ‘The roads were smoother and it was lovely passing through all those pretty villages – plus it was definitely the shortest day!’ The girls all laugh. ‘Yeah, we could hardly walk by our final rest-stop,’ says Greta, ‘and yet somehow, you didn’t want it to be over.’ 

Megan and Alice both agree – and yet, having finished their challenge and raised so much money for such an important cause, their commitment and resilience will surely help some people and inspire a great many others.  

 To make a donation to Greta, Alice and Megan’s, please visit https://uk.gofundme.com/f/greta-megan-and-alice-bike-to-cardiff 

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