When Bryan Edwards, head of technical sales at AV integrator Reflex, started thinking about how to celebrate his half-century, he came up with something that many people half his age would shy away from. A keen cyclist, he used his milestone birthday as a reason to fulfil one of his longstanding ambitions – to cycle the length of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O'Groats.
Early in 2014 he signed up for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain event, raising money for the British Paralympic Association. And he fulfilled that ambition in September, completing the 969-mile ride in nine days.
The start of his endeavour was on 6 September, when, awoken fittingly by Queen’s ‘Bicycle Race’ at 5:30am, and after a huge breakfast, Edwards and his 700 companions hit the road to travel the length of Cornwall and into Devon. A further 8 days of over 100 miles a day followed, each evening tended to by a team of 20 physiotherapy students from Birmingham University.
Over the course of the ride, Edwards climbed over 15,000m in total – that's over 11 times the height of Ben Nevis.
Edwards is elated by his achievement, saying: “When I signed up for the ride, I was looking forward to seeing Britain as I have never seen it before, and doing battle with the elements - it never crossed my mind that it would be sunny all the way or that the prevailing south-westerly wind would blow! I was motivated by the challenge of steep hills and long days in the saddle, and of course, the possibility of raising money for my charity. What I had not anticipated was the group riding experience. I met up with a group of seven guys and we quickly became a team, riding effectively together.”
Reflex supported Edwards throughout this ride and Roland Dreesden, Reflex’s MD, said: “We are all very proud of Bryan, it’s a fantastic achievement that most of us could only dream about.”