After the endurance cyclist and fundraiser Chris Hall returned from one of his many ascents of Stwlan Dam yesterday to find that his box of much-needed supplies had been taken, naturally people assumed the worst... but in a heart-warming twist, it emerged that a kind-hearted person who happened across the box of water bottles and snacks thought it had been left behind, and had taken it to a local foodbank.
In a bizarre week for cycling, in which Biniam Girmay took a history-making stage win at the Giro d'Italia before being forced out of the race due to an unfortunate prosecco-popping incident on the podium, this story might just be even stranger... but with a much happier ending of course.
Hall, who is currently four days into his challenge to complete seven Everests (up and down the same gradient until you've complete 8,848m of elevation) in seven days, was well into day three yesterday when he discovered that a large box including all of his supplies for the challenge had been swiped. Considering Stwlan Dam, in Gwynedd, north-west Wales, is rather remote and reportedly around seven miles from the nearest shop, the alleged crime appeared particularly cruel and petty.
Hall's support team and clothing sponsor Attacus Cycling posted on Instagram: “We need your help… a huge box full of water bidons, food and snacks Chris has been using to fuel himself on his Seven Everests challenge at Stwlan Dam in Wales has been taken."
A few hours after Attacus Cycling put the callout on social media, they received "a very unexpected DM" from someone. A further explanation was posted on Hall's Instagram story last night: "In a bizarre turn of events we're happy to report that we have all of Chris's stuff back!
"Turns out someone took it and donated it to the local foodbank. Thanks to all the lovely folk sharing this far and wide.
"A lady from the foodbank saw the post, got in contact and turned up to bring it all back. Thank you so much to the staff at @Ydrefwerdd Foodbank and to everyone who got in contact to offer help.
"We'll be making a donation to the foodbank, and the challenge for Movember continues!
"The fact that there's some very well intentioned, kind-hearted person in Snowdonia unintentionally scuppering cyclists' Everesting attempts at Stwlan Dam is brilliant."
Hall is partial to a cycling challenge, and last year completed a 700km ride from the most westerly and easterly points of England in less than 30 hours. This was his second attempt, having to abandon the first after being attacked and pushed off his bike in Andover.
Thankfully this latest situation was simply an unusual mix-up, and Hall started day four of seven without incident as far as we know. Like his previous challenges, he is doing this latest one to increase mental health awareness and raise money for the Movember charity - you can find out more on Hall's website here, and donate to the charity here.
Lead image: Jack Hague
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.