The Bowra Foundation Ride Across Britain
Cycling 980 miles over 9 grueling days in the famous Ride Across Britain. Mark, his team and a group of cyclists from the Bowra Foundation are not afraid of a challenge. During September 2022 the team set off from Land's End in Cornwall for the Ride Across Britain to John O'Groats in Scotland. The Ride Across Britain encompasses an epic 980 miles over nine days. Team Bowra, alongside other participants from across the world came together to cover some of Britain’s most scenic roads and beautiful sights.
In 2014 Mark suffered a major stroke that left him hospitalised for over a year. Mark was a decorated officer in the UK Special Forces. He had tested himself in some of the most arduous environments during his career.
Thankfully with the help of his family, friends and some very supportive charities including Help for Heroes, Mark is now back on his feet again with a greater determination to help others who may be similarly affected.
In 2016 and 2017, Mark was selected to take part in the Invictus Games, winning medals in swimming. Since then, he as dedicated himself to helping others. He established the Bowra Foundation in 2019, to inspire resilience amongst people suffering from neurological disorders through practical help and physical challenges alongside members of the Armed Forces community. Now the Bowra foundation helps others with neurological disorders find their Invictus Inner selves.
Ride Across Britain 2022: Setting off Saturday 10th September from Land’s End very early in the morning Mark and the team cycled 105 miles to Oakhampton. Mark and Stuart were cycling two Shimano STEPS e-assist ICE trikes and during the day used several batteries due to the riding conditions and the Cornish hills. Ruben and Lee from ICE accompanied the cyclists for roadside support during the ride. If the team needed any running repairs or trike fine-tuning during the stages, the guys from ICE were on hand to fix any problem and keep the team riding.
Day one had only one flat tyre and the stage ended with an arduous killer hill at the end where all the teams camped overnight. Stuart had some damage to his derailleur and chain, which was fixed and the ride was back underway. Day one consisted of beautiful riding past the iconic St Michael’s Mount, stunning moorland, steep Cornish climbs, fast descents and china clay pits with over 8,200ft of climbing.
Day two, Oakhampton to Bath, misty start 113 miles cycling from the Quantock hills, through Cheddar George and the historic city of Bath.
Day three Bath to Ludlow, only 95 miles today, crossing the Severn Bridge, Chepstow Castle, the glorious Wye Valley and finally finishing at the racecourse at Ludlow. Some other bike riders chose to walk up some of the bigger hills following the two previous days of riding, even though the day was only 5,300 ft of elevation.
Over the following days the team cycled past Manchester along the ship canal and England’s industrial heartland, on towards Carlisle, the mighty Shap Fell and views of the Lake District. No mechanical issues over the last few days and averaging around 5 batteries per day as the guys were riding in boost mode most of the time. Beautiful scenery all the way. Then 105 miles from Carlisle to Edinburgh, over the Scottish border, the Lowther Hills and sweeping views of beautiful Scotland. Challenging traffic from Schools, dry weather today until 8 miles from the end of the stage when the team had a very heavy downpour to finish the day off.
Following days, early starts from Edinburgh riding towards Strathdojn near Aberdeen. Grampian Mountains and the Cairngorms National Park, Glenshee across the River Dee and the famous Braemar Castle. Cold wet, mizzle, fast descents, never-ending zigzags, steep climbs, winding roads and single tracks towards through the highlands. The spectacular scenery helped to lift the team’s spirits during the bad weather and elements.
Long arduous climbs up the infamous Lecht Hill past Aviemore, Inverness and on towards Kyle of Sutherland. Then onto the last stage from Lairg to John O’ Groats. A 6am cold start with very wet roads. Single-track cycling that made it challenging to pass other cyclists up the hills. Later the sun appeared and so did the splendor of the Strathnaver Valley and North Atlantic Coast, views of the Orkneys and, finally, the finish at the end. Huge smiles and admiration for and from all the riders who took part. So far Mark and the team have raised £18,000 so far for the foundation and ultimately helping others who are suffering neurological disorders.
A huge well done to all involved and especially event team Bowra who are Mark, Stu, Stu and Martin.
You can learn more about the Bowra foundation or make a donation by visiting
www.bowra-foundation.org and find out more about ICE e-assist trikes here.
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