One Hero’s Tale: GB-Divide

I’d be grateful if everyone would forward this to sympathetic parties. Ed deserves ten times as much sponsorship money as he has at present, as does the charity. My thanks.

*********************

I volunteer with the charity FNF Both Parents Matter Cymru (a Welsh charity, separate from the English FNF). The brother of the assistant manager of the charity is one Edward Wells. Ed is a Royal Marine. It shows.

GB-Divide is a bike ride. Rather a long one. Here’s how the organisers describe it,

GB-Divide is a ~2,000km self-supported gravel bikepacking Individual Time Trail (ITT) route from Land’s End to John O’Groats taking in some of the best riding and scenery the UK has to offer. It was made by The Racing Collective and is the route used for GBDURO.

Ed thought he’d have a go – but not as an official entrant. Just as a personal challenge – as one does for a 2,000 km (1,250 mile) ride involving circa 80,000 feet of ascent – entirely unsupported, sleeping wild in a tent and carrying everything with him from the start.

The official challenge for entrants is to complete the course inside 13 days. Ed did it one second inside 12 days. There were 39 offical entrants. Only 18 finish within the target 13 days. Ed was a day early.

Bear in mind Ed did this ride through temperatures of 35 C and higher.

The video is essential viewing.

In view of his brother’s employment with Both Parents Matter Cymru, Ed thought he’d raise some cash for the charity at the same time. Please consider donating.

Here’s how assistant manager Steve Wells described his brother’s achievement…

“Well I can’t believe he’s only gone and done it! I’m in total awe of Ed completing an insane 13 day challenge, one that is hard to comprehend if I’m honest. I had the privilege of being at the John O’Groats signpost to see him complete his journey, something that I will always proudly remember.

What was originally going to be his penultimate days riding turned in to a last minute dash up through the Highlands of Scotland to try and catch him! Watching his GPS tracking dot you could see he was on a mission. Was he really going to cycle 161 off-road miles, and 8000 ft of climbing in one day? Was it even possible after 12 gruelling days of abuse to his body and bike? And would I even make it to capture his finish, was he going to beat me to it?! It was man against machine!

As I pulled in to the destination point I could see on the tracker that he was literally just down the road! I estimated he was 10 minutes or so away, was he going to make it by midnight? I kept looking at the tracker and then scouring the road he would be coming down. Suddenly, out of the quiet dead of night in John O’Groats a light flickered through the gaps in the walls, the whirring sound of wheels speeding on the tarmac. Here he was! He was at full tilt, racing as if he was as fresh as the day he started! He whizzed past me, straight to the famous signpost. Touching it to mark his finish, a quick beep as he stops the GPS – one second to midnight!! And then he collapsed from exhaustion, 12 days hard gruel hit him all at once!

What a legend. What a man. What an achievement. Words can hardly describe it.

He chose to ride the GBDuro 2022 as a personal challenge, that’s the kind of thing he does! He’s been exceedingly kind raising money for Both Parents Matter, the charity I currently work for as acting national manager. So it’s only right I describe what he’s raising money for. Basically we help non-resident parents who are being stopped from seeing their children after a family separation. We support mums and dads, but the reality is that it’s mostly fathers who are being stopped from seeing their kids. And of course ultimately it’s the kids who miss out, who don’t get to see the other parent. Court processes can take years, and I constantly see amazing dads who are being told they can’t see their kids. In the family court it’s guilty until proven innocent, and malicious allegations can take months and even years to unravel. Those poor children must be wondering what they have done wrong, why can’t they see daddy, is it their fault? It’s extremely sad, I would argue it’s abusive, but it’s a story that rarely gets told.

We also offer a domestic abuse service for men. Women, rightfully so, have a vast amount of support available, but men have virtually none. I don’t think society realises that men can be victims too, but the cases I see day after day tell a very different story.

So if you haven’t already donated, please consider it – here. Ed has shown his commitment and dedication to the cause, he’s really put his money where his mouth is. We really want to change the system so that children don’t get caught up in this horrible mess, because ultimately Both Parents really do Matter.”

Ed on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/harryblack893/

Ed on Strava – https://www.strava.com/athletes/2306226?oq=ed

Ed’s fund raising page – https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/edwellz

Both Parents Matter – https://bpmuk.org/

the kit
first day
the bike
the finish

1 thought on “One Hero’s Tale: GB-Divide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *