BBT and Airplus International have raised more than £2,000 for the Willow Foundation charity after completing the London to Brighton cycle ride.

Airplus employee’s Sachin Somaiya, Paul Spelman, Piers Gibbons, Aleks Stosic, Laurence Smith, Rupert de Saeger and Alastair McMahon along with BBT digital editor Tom Newcombe and Paul’s brother Duncan Spelman completed the 54-mile course.

The total raised so far stands at £2,075.

Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. 

Since 1999 Willow has fulfilled more than 12,500 Special Days for young adults living with life-threatening conditions such as cancer, motor neurone disease, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and Huntington’s disease.

The charity was founded by former Scotland and Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson and his wife Megs Wilson.

Airplus’ Spelman said: “We would like to thank everyone who has made a donation to our chosen charity, the Willow Foundation and supported us. Across all our donation pages to date we have just surpassed our target of £2,000.”

If you would like to donate, you can do so here

Paul’s story of the day

We set off at 8:30am on Sunday, 11 September from Clapham Common in central London on our 54 mile journey to Brighton.

Our first official water stop was at 19 miles, after a quick check we realised a few of the bikes tyres had very low air pressure, so out came the pumps! We also had to change one tyre inner tube after the valve broke. Once the repairs were completed we were back on the road, setting a steady pace.

After 29 miles we stopped for a well deserved lunch organised by the event. However, soon after lunch, not content with the official 54 miles cycling route, we inadvertently took a wrong turn and found ourselves on another cycle circuit using the same coloured directional markers ! Thankfully , with the aid of our mobile phones and GPS, Piers managed to get us back on track adding an additional 6 miles to our route!

At this point we were coming up the official 46 mile mark (52 miles for us due to our navigational error) where we had to take on a mile long climb up “Ditchling Beacon” which has an average gradient of 9 per cent and a maximum of 16 per cent.  Once we reached the top we re-grouped, had a much needed water stop, before the final descent into Brighton and crossing the finish line on the seafront.

Medals awarded, we all enjoyed a much deserved drink with fish and chips, taking in the great view out to sea on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AirPlusInternational

https://www.willowfoundation.org.uk/

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