Small Guy Long RideAfter completing a demanding 2-year A Level course, most 18 year olds would be planning to take it easy for a few weeks. But Ross Gardner, a student at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School has other plans. He will spend the summer cycling down the west coast of the USA, raising money for Cancer Research.
On 30th June Ross will fly to Seattle in Washington State. He will cycle from the USA/Canada boarder south through the states of Washington, Oregon and California and will end his journey at San Diego on the border with Mexico. The journey will take 3 months and Ross expects to travel around 40-60 miles a day. Ross will be making the journey alone, with no support so he has planned every aspect of the journey meticulously. He has 5 bags on the bike, each with essential items he will need for navigation, camping and maintaining the bike. Ross says “One of the biggest challenges will be finding somewhere to sleep each night.”
To prepare for the trip Ross has been training 3 times a week and had some practice camps. He has had to get used to the weight of the 5 bags on the bike which will make it very heavy and susceptible to being blown by strong side winds.
Ross had originally planned to take a gap year but didn’t want to go backpacking. He enjoys cycling so decided to condense his gap year into 3 months and travel by bike. He also wanted to raise money for Cancer Research UK, a charity that is close to his heart because he lost his grandfather and his dog to cancer. He says “It is hard to find someone who is not affected by cancer, so I hope to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK.”
He continues “I have had great support from my friends and family. I have raised about £800 so far and this has come from donations and fund raising events at school. Some of my friends have been sponsored to dye their hair and two others became vegetarian for a month – which they did not enjoy!”
Headmaster Paul D Spencer Ellis commented “Ross has shown determination and imagination in planning his trip. During his time in the Sixth Form he has demonstrated that he has the ability to meet challenges head on and I am sure he will be able to cope with anything that arises on the journey. I wish him every success this summer, both with the journey and with the fundraising.”
Ross, who is Head Boy at the Royal Alexandra and Albert School, has just completed his A level exams and is hoping to study Mechanical Engineering at Cardiff University when he returns to the UK in the autumn.
You can follow his progress on his blog:
Donations can be made at:
21st June 2013