A 127-mile cycle trip from Liverpool to Leeds was a challenging but rewarding way to launch Ison Harrison’s ‘Cycle September’ initiative in support of Little Hiccups.
Over the weekend of August 30th and 31st our clinical negligence solicitor Anne Robertson joined six other cycling enthusiasts and a parent of one of the children Little Hiccups supports, to take on the monumental task of cycling the entire length of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. This was the first of many events to promote cycling throughout September, all aimed at raising money for the Leeds-based support group Little Hiccups, who offer help to families who have a child with disabilities or special needs.
The Liverpool to Leeds cycle trip was an amazing and enriching journey for all involved, and a trek that started with the group catching the 6.05am train to Liverpool from Leeds on Friday 30th August. Anne stayed in a YHA the night before and met the rest of the group bright and early on the morning ready for the journey ahead. They were all on a tight and meticulously-planned schedule though, and immediately upon arriving in Liverpool, they had to leave again.
At 8.35am the group started their cycle journey back to Leeds and took in 13-mile and 11-mile legs punctuated by brief stops for sustenance. Despite a small bike malfunction and a minor accidental crash between Janneke and Gavin, the group reached their lunch stop in Wigan in good spirits. Nursing some cuts and bruises and a buckled wheel, the pub stop was well-received. Anne’s husband Sean in the support group hastily took Janneke’s bike to a local repair shop, and before the group had even finished their hamburger and chips the bike was as good as new.
Just as well, because there was a gruelling 25-mile stretch to Accrington ahead. This took in mainly the canal towpath, and yet the group managed to get a puncture (Janneke again!), take a wrong turning, and the terrain also turned from accommodating gravel to a much more challenging combination of mud and grass.
The group reached the halfway point of the ride at 63 5/8 miles which provided a welcome boost. The ensuing 10 miles into Burnley felt like a breeze and the overnight hotel stop was reached at around 7.30pm, and after 74 miles and eight and a half hours of riding.
Day two began with an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, with no one worrying about their figure and mainly concerned with storing energy. There were 53 miles to go and the first leg of the morning was a tough trek up seven ascending locks. This took in eight miles of hard terrain, and the group reached Bank Newton to be presented with six downhill locks that were much appreciated.
Despite three unscheduled diversions due to stretches of closed towpaths starting at Gargrave, the group were on schedule and in good spirits. They reached a damp and rainy Silsden for picnic provided by the support group and it was finally onto the last 22 miles into Leeds.
There was one stop in the afternoon at the famous Bingley Five Rise Locks, but the group were eager to keep going as the landscape was becoming more familiar and the group could sense their target was near. Indeed it was a mere two hours away. Everyone gathered just outside Leeds city centre so that the group could arrive at their destination together, and sure enough, at 4pm on Saturday August 31st there was a triumphant welcome from friends and family for the seven cyclists, who had some aches and strains but a wealth of stories and a lifetime of memories from what was an amazing achievement.
We will know exactly how much has been raised for Little Hiccups at the end of September when the programme of cycling events has been completed and we can tally up the money donated. Ison Harrison has a long history of supporting Little Hiccups, started by our head of clinical negligence James Thompson, who is a trustee of the charity. As a Leeds-based charity we have been able to forge close links with Little Hiccups and are delighted that our colleagues, and in particular Anne who undertook the 127-mile cycle ride from Liverpool to Leeds, are so enthusiastic and willing to help.
You can still donate to Anne’s Just Giving page in support of Little Hiccups here, and all donations are greatly appreciated.