Cyclists in the Greater Brighton Cycle Challenge clocked up enough miles to reach the Sunshine Coast of Australia, topping over 10,000 miles.
Participants cycled 10,246 miles, the equivalent of Brighton to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, in temperatures to rival the Australian Outback.
220 cyclists, including local councillors and MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, braved intense heat on one of Brighton’s hottest days this year, taking part in 30 mile and 58 mile cycles through the beautiful South Downs, while others collectively cycled over 4,000 laps of the Preston Park Velodrome.
The Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Cllr Dee Simson, set cyclists on their way before cycling on a tandem with one of her predecessors, Cllr. Pete West, before presenting medals to some of the younger riders. It was the first time in 45 years that Cllr Simson has been on a bicycle.
Meanwhile, two participants, Paul Bonett and Jim Stevenson, have cycled 250 miles through the Himalayas, from Shimla to Kaza in the Spiti Valley, including several passes over 11,000 feet.
In the next two days they will go over Kunzum La which is over 15,000 feet. They are due back in Brighton on 13th July.
The purpose of all these rides is to raise funds for First Base Day Centre which is run by Brighton Housing Trust.
BHT head of fundraising, Jo Berry, said: “The temperatures in Brighton and surrounding areas felt more like those you might expect in the Australian Outback. It was an incredible achievement by all concerned to have cycled that far in these oppressive conditions.
“What is equally impressive is the amount raised for First Base Day Centre that works with rough sleepers throughout the year, during heatwaves and in the depth of the winter. At First Base we provide the essential services to maintain basic dignity and life, and the support needed to help people to move off the streets.
“Last year 1,113 clients made use of the services provided at First Base Centre, of whom 1,089 were rough sleepers. 498 clients had a full needs assessment and engaged in a full programme of structured support which resulted in 222 people being helped into accommodation.
“Events such as this make it possible to continue providing the services at First Base”.
To date over £11,000 has been raised, including over £5,700 in online sponsorship, a bucket collection raising £106 on the day, and further sponsorship and donations are expected over the next couple of weeks.
Paul Bonett and Jim Stevenson can be sponsored at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-bonett5