The six teenagers providing the pedal power for the 2012 BBC Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge yesterday evening reached Swansea as they completed the third day of their 411-mile ride. Monday’s route to the Welsh capital, Cardiff, will take them past the halfway point of the journey, which can be tracked on the Viewranger website.
The youngsters, who began their journey from Llandudno on Friday morning, are being accompanied by BBC TV presenter Matt Baker, who last year raised nearly £2 million for Children in Need in his own rickshaw challenge from Edinburgh to London.
This year’s total so far stands at a shade over £180,000 as of Sunday evening, and you’d expect that to mount over the coming days with the exploits of the teens, each of whom has been helped by a charity supported by BBC Children in Need in some way, due to be shown live on The One Show on BBC One each evening this week.
Baker’s co-host on that programme, Alex Jones, was also out on her bike giving the rickshaw drivers support and helping to drum up donations at the roadside, and got a surprise of her own when her parents turned up to give encouragement.
That wasn’t the only family meeting on Sunday for the Welsh TV presenter from Ammanford in Carmarthenshire – there was a scheduled stop at her aunt and uncle’s house in Burry Port on the Loughor estuary, who laid on tea for the riders and support crew – 30 people in all.
For the first time in three days, the rain didn’t fall, but earlier downpours don’t seem to have dampened the enthusiasm of the six teens taking turns to pilot the rickshaw, nor the two reserve riders, Shannon and Sam, who have been with them all the way, bucket in hand to collect donations.
Photos and videos of each day are available on the BBC Children in Need website.
The members of the team are:
Darren (17) from County Durham. Darren has had glaucoma since he was born and is registered as partially sighted. His mum, dad, brother and sister are all registered blind.
James (18) from Kent. James has been a young carer for his mother, brother and sister since he was very young. When James isn’t at college he runs the household and looks after his family.
Jack (16) from Essex. When Jack was 4 years old he had a kidney transplant. He is very fit now and takes part in lots of sport.
Jamila (18) from London. Growing up, Jamila has seen young people around her turn to crime and gang culture. She chose not to go down this road and now works as a committed volunteer, working to help other young people.
Lauren (18) from Stirling, Scotland. Lauren suffered a brain injury after being knocked down by a car when she was 11. She spent six months in hospital and was left with a broken hip, broken right leg and fractured left arm. She has re-learnt to breathe, walk, talk and eat.
Ciaran (17) from Port Talbot in South Wales. Ciaran was born with cerebral palsy.
BBC Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge 2012 route
Day 1 - Llandudno to Dolgellau - 51.56 miles
Day 2 - Dolgellau to Lampeter - 58.68 miles
Day 3 - Lampeter to Swansea - 53.91 miles
Day 4 - Swansea to Cardiff - 51.59 miles
Day 5 - Cardiff to Bath - 54.76 miles
Day 6 - Bath to Salisbury - 50.81 miles
Day 7 - Salisbury to Reading - 51.55 miles
Day 8 - Reading to White City - 38.43 miles
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.