A group of cyclists have successfully completed their epic 800+ mile Rock2Rock cycling challenge at the southernmost point on the rock of Gibraltar.
The group of friends and work colleagues including serving military, veterans and civilians completed the Rock2Rock challenge in 12 days taking them from Rock in Cornwall, cycling an average of 70 miles per day.
On Friday afternoon, seven cyclists and their support team arrived at Europa Point in Gibraltar having achieved their aim of raising awareness of homeless veterans and funds for veterans’ charity Launchpad.
They have exceeded their original £5,000 fundraising target through a combination of online and offline donations. The online total has just reached £6,000 with donations still being made.
Rock2Rock was organised by Launchpad’s business development manager and Royal Navy Reservist Gary Perriton. Commenting after crossing the finish line, he said:
“The guys have been amazing and we are very grateful for everyone’s support. It’s certainly been a challenge, starting off in monsoon conditions in Cornwall to cycling in 36 degree heat, big climbs and long days in the saddle through mainland Spain. We managed a few niggling injuries throughout but we’ve done what we set out to achieve which is to raise awareness of Launchpad and the great work they do to support homeless veterans.
I calculated we cycled 853 miles in total with a climb of 34,750ft which is over the height of Everest and 10x the height of Mount Snowdon.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way including our sponsors who enabled this challenge to happen and to those who have made a donation to our fundraising page.”
Founded in 2013, Launchpad provides vital accommodation and targeted support to Armed Forces veterans experiencing homelessness and those who have struggled with transitioning from the military into civilian life.
The charity has three houses in the North of England in Newcastle, Liverpool and Durham providing accommodation for 101 homeless veterans – accepting veterans from all over the UK.
To date, over 635 veterans have been supported since 2013 and 139 residents were supported between July 2022 and end of June 2023. On average, over the last five years, 60% of residents successfully moved on from Launchpad to live independently and 32% gained employment during their time with Launchpad.
The Rock2Rock challenge has been supported by a number of organisations and corporate sponsors including Linguassist, Oliver King Foundation, LovIT, Immervox, Me2you Cars, Deskfrnd, Ellanstone, BeUrBest and Cubbie.
The cycle ride formed part of a series of events the charity organised for its tenth-anniversary celebrations with a corporate golf day at the Vale of Llangollen Golf Club on Friday 15 September and a celebration black-tie dinner will be held at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle upon Tyne on 27 October.
You can still support the cyclists and the work of Launchpad via a fundraising page set up at Just Giving: www.justgiving.com/campaign/rock2rockcycle