Nicky's story

British Cycling Coach Nicky Harverson, who works with clients to increase their road confidence, is travelling the length of Great Britain’s roads herself in a special charity cycling challenge to raise funds for our Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, taking on a sole 1,000-mile 13-day cycle ride from John O’Groats to Lands End.

Mother of two Nicky Harverson will be starting the challenge at John O’Groats on Thursday 18th May, celebrating her 43rd birthday while out on the road, and finishing at Land's End on Tuesday 30th May.

She decided to raise funds for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, home to the only inpatient unit giving specialist hospice care in Gloucestershire, following the care friends had received.

"Two of my friends – Karen and Sheena – spent time at the hospice and I cannot praise enough the support the hospice gave to them and their families and friends during their stay," says Nicky.

"The care Karen received at the hospice was exemplary from all the team," adds Karen's husband Lance. "I was once told that no-one wants to visit a hospice because they are either very ill or know someone who is. Well, Sue Ryder made all those visits bearable whilst giving Karen all the care and support she needed during those final few months.

“We found the bereavement services offered to support family and friends after their loved one had passed invaluable too," Lance says. "Please support our good friend Nicky as she embarks on this great challenge for this great charity. I and many more families yet to know of this wonderful care will thank you."


"Every day is an adventure"

Nicky is aiming to raise £2,000 to help us support local patients and their families.

"I believe that everyone should build ‘life into their days’ – every day is an adventure," declares Nicky. "Sue Ryder works tirelessly with patients and families to ensure that they can build as much life into their days as possible. I can’t think of a better way to do this than simply being able to spend more time with loved ones in a quiet and beautiful space to find respite between tough medical procedures.

"Through my cycling challenge I want to raise funds to help this work continue," she concludes.

In between running her own business, Nicky has been training hard for her challenge. Over the winter she has been working on her turbo trainer and, with spring and lighter nights coming on, is spending more time outside on her bike, even commuting the 12 miles to work each day.

She is currently averaging 100 to 150 miles a week in the saddle.


A virtual group of people she loves ride by her side

When the going gets tough on her long bike rides, Nicky employs one of the techniques she teaches clients, which is used by adventure cyclists around the world - building a virtual peloton or a group of people to ride by your side when you need them.

She says, "I have built this peloton many times on my training rides. In my peloton is a group of family and friends who are always supportive and know exactly what to say when I need it. The beauty of this invisible group is that they don’t have to be with me or even still alive to be able to support me.

"My Dad always has his hand on my back like he did when I was a young girl cycling the ‘big hill’ from Tewkesbury. My friend Karen is with me too, laughing in wonder at my energy and enthusiasm for the adventure."


Amazing support

Nicky has completed a number of cycling challenges but this will be the first solo challenge over such a long period of time.

"My family have been incredibly supportive," Nicky says. "Sue Ryder has played a part in many of our lives. I know people who work there and people who have spent time there with loved ones. It holds a special place in the community.

“I would like to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far," she adds. "It has been very motivational to see the money add up and the personal messages are so lovely. It shows how much people care and are inspired by the journey I am taking."


There's still time to show Nicky your support

Sponsor Nicky at JustGiving

Alternatively, you can text to donate: NHJL47 to 70070.


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