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Great Weston Ride 2016

25 July 2016


Joe and Ruth took part in the 2016 Great Weston Ride on the 17th July in the hope of raising vital funds for Changes Bristol through the sponsorship of family and friends. Before undertaking the event Ruth told us:

"I am a recent convert to cycling - only having started about 8 years ago and am still learning. I have never cycled this far before and will be accompanied by one of my sons for the trip. I am pretty apprehensive about it and it will definitely be a challenge - a combination of town traffic (which I've never had to deal with), the Mendips and the sheer distance will certainly make it a day to remember.

'Changes' has been providing peer support for people facing mental distress in the Bristol area for the last 12 years. I know it works as one of my family turned to them when at a particular low point and their lives have been transformed through the meetings they attended, the support and care they received from others who had been through similar experiences and the help they were given by trained volunteers and the small team of paid staff. Although they provide a vital service they receive no Local Authority or Government funding and rely on fundraising and grant applications. I want to do my bit to help them keep afloat!"

Joe told us a little more about the event itself:

"The ride is an inconceivable 57 miles long (further than me or my mum would ever normally ride because why would anyone do that recreationally?). We start in the treacherous urban wastelands of Bristol at silly o'clock in the morning (Sunday morning!!); we do an unnecessarily big loop thing up really hilly hills that go up way more than is sensible; after straining for breath at impressively high altitudes for a very long time we hurtle back down dangerously steep roads for ages onto the gruelling sun-parched expanses of the Somerset Levels; after that we cycle loads more in another direction for a laugh; then after more cycling, we eventually end up in the tropical seaside utopia of Western Super Mare which, given my current fitness levels, may be my final resting place."

Ruth trained for weeks in order to achieve maximum fitness for the cycle ride, including cyling around parts of Wales. Here she is the month before the event looking very determined in the face of the daunting task ahead:


Thankfully, neither Joe nor Ruth expired and they, along with another 1,100+ people, triumphantly crossed the finish line cheered on by many hundreds of supporters of the event. The sun shone and it was a perfect day for a glorious bike ride!

We'd like to say a massive thank you to Joe and Ruth for their supreme efforts. Between them they raised over £800, a staggering amount! We are extremely grateful to them and their generous supporters for giving us and our meetings an extra boost!