We are cycling the Algarve for Mind — The Mental Health Charity because everyone needs to find their happy place.
In 2018, the Portugal Pie Eaters (Chris, Dave, Iain, and John) cycled 150 miles across the Algarve region of Portugal as part of, what can only be described as, an ill-advised male bonding session/mid-life crisis.
Completely unprepared (Dave hadn’t been on a bike for at least 15-years) and riding into one of the biggest storms the Algarve had ever seen, the four “lads” put on a brave face and rode from Vila Real de Santo António on the Spanish border to Cape St. Vincent on the Atlantic Coast.
Fueled by caffeine, alcohol, the occasional full-English breakfast, and frequent cake/toastie stops, they cycled through deep mud, survived a spectacular fall (Chris), braved electrical storms, suffered a broken chain, and an irreparable puncture at the bottom of an impossible climb (John had promised the guys there would be no hills — he lied).
Despite facing such adversary, the team all found themselves in high spirits and pretty much laughed and joked their way across the route, taking every opportunity to “put the world to rights” — often into the early hours before rising at the crack of dawn to start the next day’s ride.
Over the three-day ride, the stresses of work, paying the mortgage and everyday life, were put behind them. It would be hard to describe a 150-mile ride as a rest — but it certainly helped clear out a few cobwebs and put some of life’s problems into perspective (when you are stuck in the middle of nowhere with a puncture which you cannot repair and you can still laugh, you know you are in a good company).
Their progress was spurred on by the generosity of friends, colleagues and complete strangers who helped them raise an amazing £1310.39 for Chrons and Colitis UK.
As soon as the ride was over, talk started about what they were going to do in 2019. A number of ideas were discussed and dismissed before they settled on returning to their “happy place” in Portugal.
With this in mind, the lads have decided to support Mind — The Mental Health Charity on their 2019 ride because everybody should be able to find their own “happy place”.
To learn more about the ride and to follow our progress, please visit our JustGiving page (all support very much appreciated).
To learn more about the motivations for our last ride across the Algarve, including our successes and failures, and the book that documented the whole event, check out this video: