Tough Challenge Raises Cash
Nick Chappel (centre) with sons Oliver and Freddie plus colleagues from Healing School and friends who tackled the Lindsey Trail.
It started with a casual conversation between friends over a pint - and ended with a 75-mile bike ride through challenging Lincolnshire countryside.
In the meantime, money was raised for Grimsby's Cambridge Park Academy.
The Cambridge Road school is attended by Oliver Chappel, the six-year-old son of Healing School's Area Leader of Humanities Nick Chappel, one of those who came up with the idea to tackle the Lindsey Trail.
"A few of us were having a beer and the conversation got around to challenging ourselves and it snowballed from there," said Nick.
"We're getting on a bit now and can't run that well so we thought about cycling. It was very informal but ended up with 14 of us taking on the ride and getting sponsored.
"We wanted to keep the money local. My wife Nicola and I can't praise Cambridge Park enough.
"They're wonderful with Oliver, who has a diagnosis from autism. The support, help and teaching is first class and their home – school liaison second to none.
"The provision is fantastic and all the children are treated the same. We are very lucky that Oliver is there."
He thanked the school for its support of the bike ride, which included a competition for the children to design a T-shirt worn by the cyclists during their challenge.
Six colleagues from Healing School plus friends and supporters of Cambridge Park, including Steven White and Martin Wiseman from Grimsby firm Quality Forms, set off from Willingham Woods near Market Rasen at 8.30am.
"It wasn't until 7pm we finished," said Nick. "The first 40 miles were mainly on the roads but the last part was largely off-road on tracks suitable for BMX bikes. The landscape was like something out of the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!
"I had done a Churchillian-style morale booster before we set off, saying if we struggle up any hills we should be thinking of the children we're doing it for.
"When people were passing me on some steep climbs, I couldn't think about the children, only where my next breath was coming from!
"I had been a novice cyclist before this, as had many of the others, but now I quite fancy taking it up as a hobby.
"We did train for it but it was really tough at times. It was supposed to be 75 miles but we ended up going slightly wrong and did 79.3-miles.
"We counted them all out and counted them back in at various points along the way.
"When we stopped at a pub for a sandwich at lunch one or two fancied puddings but we managed to drag ourselves away.
"The friendship and camaraderie will stay with me. Everybody encouraged each other and I look back on some great memories and forget the cramp at 1am the next morning."
The money from the ride is still being counted and will be handed over to the academy next month.
Anybody who wishes to donate can do so by contacting Cambridge Park Academy on 01472 230110.
Healing School - Thursday 20th August 2015