Chippenham fundraising bikers band together for breaktime gig
A ROCK’N’ROLL challenge with a twist has raised £10,000 for 13 different charities.
Seventeen cyclists from the Chippenham area took to the road to pedal 130 miles in July, with the long trip broken up by a one-off gig performed by three of them.
The ride, from Chippen-ham to Great Torrington, Devon, stopped for a four-hour performance by Shake the Bucket at Oake Village Hall, near Taunton, in aid of Cancer Research.
The event was dreamed up by Peter Williams from Pewsham, known to many as ‘Piano Pete’ because of his role as a music teacher at Redland School in Chippenham. He then encouraged friends to join him.
Mr Williams said: “It was an absolutely brilliant thing to do.
“We’d been hoping to raise £5,000 – that was our target, and we got double that, so it was wonderful. The gig itself raised £1,000, which was really fantastic. We had people from Chippenham making the journey to see us perform.
“One of the ladies singing with us got her uncle to come from Minehead with a vintage bus, and 20 or 30 people came along in that. It was really special.
“Even the weather was beautiful – it was one of the best days we had all summer, so everything just clicked for us.”
The cyclists made their way through Chippenham, Bradford-On-Avon, Frome, Wells, Glastonbury, Street, Taunton, South Molton, Barnstaple, Bideford and Torrington, as well as many villages, before finishing the ride.
Along the way, they raised money for 13 local and national charities, including The Meningitis Trust, The Rise Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Naomi House Hospice, Hardenhuish Educational Trust, and Cancer Research UK.
Mr Williams said it had been difficult adjusting to life after the big challenge.
“I’ve done lesser rides before that weekend and found myself feeling really bad the next day, but this time I was just carried along with the adrenaline of it all,” he said.
“I was a bit low afterwards – I found myself twiddling my thumbs a bit. It was such a big thing to prepare for, and now it’s done, I’ve found myself wondering what I should do next. I’ve got a few ideas for next year, so I’ll just have to see what happens.”