Day 1:After a bumpy start (almost missing their flight!) Chris, Kev and Dave embarked on the journey to the Orkney Islands, pumped and ready to take on their 500km cycling challenge.
After weeks of training, the three Cowens boys were excited to be hitting the road the next day to raise as much as possible for Cancer Research UK and NSPCC, two incredible causes, as part of the Big C Little C business charity initiative.
Day 2: Bright and early, Chris, Kev and Dave picked up their bikes from John Hettle at Orkney Cycle Hire before heading off on their challenge!
The first bump in the road came when Dave got his first flat tyre after the first 20 miles, but the boys remained positive, kept smiling, and were back on track in no time.
Despite the gruelling distance, the team were able to stop and enjoy some sight-seeing along the way, including The Italian Chapel.
The boys also visited Mull Head on their first day
The team completed a huge combined total of 300km on this first day cycling.
Day 3: The third day in Orkney bought a whole host of challenges for Team Cowens who bravely soldiered on.
From the team’s base in Kirkwall, they headed out and after 16 miles, the boys reach the village of Twatt (much to their amusement!).
The sun made an appearance as the boys reached mile 25, with a pit stop at the beautiful Ring of Brodgar
Sadly, Dave’s tyres couldn’t stand the distance meaning he had to return to base camp. Despite this set back, Orkney Cycle Hire donated an incredible £205 to Big C Little C to make up for the tyres, boosting our final total.
(and Dave got a well-deserved rest!)
Chris and Kev soldiered on, determined to the cross the finish line! The pair hit the road, enjoying sights of Loch Stromness and views of Strenness from The Voy. Chris also suffered a puncture, and some lovely locals rallied around to try and find him a new tyre so he could continue on.
Day 3 came to an end with a fish and chip dinner. Incredibly well deserved after the boys had ridden a grand final distance of over 500km in a week!
Day 4: Team Cowens took to The Orkenys on foot to explore more of island.
Chris, Kev and Dave took a tour of Hoy with Island Tours of Hoy ran by RNLI hero and now Orkney resident, Steve Rhodes – who is originally from Derby!
Part of the crew was Tour Guide, Kim – another East Midlands local, originally from Sutton-in-Ashfield. A fantastic day was had exploring the life boats and local scenery of Longhope, Hoy, Lyness and Rackwick beach.
A great way to top off a brilliant week of fundraising
Chris Bown commented on the experience, he said: “The best bits for me were meeting the other people there, the locals and visitors to the island. We had a lovely local lady trying to help me track down somebody in their village that had a spare tyre for the bike, and almost got us there but it was just too small!
“I also had a visitor at the hotel having some banter with me about my not so flattering tan lines where the straps from my helmet had left thick white lines down the side of my face.
“We also shared a taxi with a woman from London that we met on the plane and ended up bumping into her again on the first night and had a few drinks. The cycling was tough, but it was brilliant to be a part of such a great week and to raise this amount for two great charities. All in all, a good week with a lot of laughs!”
Team Cowens have raised over £800 so far but it is not too late to help them reach the £1,000 mark. Please support Big C Little C and support Chris, Kev and Dave by donating to our fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/cowens-orkney-challenge