Wednesday, 23 June 2010

And so it begins....

Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatuallah Brothers and sisters

Alhamdullilah 4 brothers set out from Edinburgh on Saturday after Fajr for this amazing charity cycle ride covering 500+ KM and by the grace of Allah swt we reached Coventry yesterday at 7.30pm. It was a long arduous journey which required physical strength but much more mental strength particularly in the latter stages of our journey. I have jotted down an account of the days events....

Day 1

We set off from Edinburgh at 6.15 am on Saturday (after 3 hours sleep!) and cycled towards England. The route took us through some of the most hilliest terrain I have ever been on. Mountain passes which seemed to go on forever. But as we all know where there is hardship thereafter comes ease, and for a cyclist there is nothing better then a nice long down hill!! I hit a speed of 37MPH but br. Ali hit 40+ MPH which is pretty fast considering its a bike!

Around midday I encountered my first problem which was that my right knee became extremely painful. I think this was due to the constant uphill mountain passes that we kept having to cycle up. As we hit 20 miles my knee became somewhat painful but bearable, at 40 miles it became very painful but I wanted to keep on going as long as i could. By midday at around the 60 mile checkpoint I had to stop as the pain was excruciating and i was unable to cycle any further. I decided to rest in the support vehicle for a while. I discussed the problem with Moulana Imtiaz and he advised that I rest for the day and recover ready for the next day. The remaining 3 brothers ploughed ahead and Alhamdulillah made it to Penrith at around 9pm. We ordered some pizzas from a local eatery and then washed up and hit the beds.

Day 2

Having taken some painkillers and slapping some cream on my knee I decided to join the brothers for Day 2. We set off from Penrith heading to my favourite part of the country, the Lake District. This also has some amazing views and it was really uplifting to cycle through there. We took a break by Ullswater which at 8am was amazing. The sun was out and the view was brilliant. We ploughed on ahead towards Windermere and then onto Kendal (South Lakes) and towards Manchester. We bumped into another group of brothers from London who were on hols so said a quick hello. The support team got roped into joining them for offer they clearly could not refuse!! We carried on and met some other fellow cyclists and had a quick chat to them about our challenge and they were very surprised by it. We carried on until we hit a massive mountain pass which had an incline of 20 degrees which is very steep. 3 of us got off our bikes and walked at various intervals up this mountain however, lead rider Ali decided he was not going to be put off and actually managed to cycle up it...maximum respect to him for doing that! We carried on south past Kendal and towards Milinthope (outside of Lake District). We had covered around 60 miles when my knee became too painful to continue so I was picked up by the support vehicle. The lads carried on to Bury and then on to Manchester arriving at about 10pm.

Day 3

This was the last day of the challenge and the whole team were in good spirits though all of us were tired. We set off at 5:45am from Manchester and headed towards Salford, then Macclesfield and then onto Stoke, Lichfield and Failingly and finally Coventry. The day went well though it was the hottest of the three days. The terrain was ok mainly travelling through A and B roads. There were a few large hills on route which we were surprised at but not risking any further injury decided to walk up them. We reached Coventry by about 7.30pm arriving at the Academy to a warm welcome. A lot of the local ulema and local students and community members came out to show their support for our challenge which was nice to see. We met with the teachers and shared the experiences of our journey with everyone. Everyone had some food and then we all said our farewells. As for the riders we will be meeting again on the weekend for the regular training rides whilst we plan for another challenge next year.

I have added some pictures of our journey.

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