Pulling in one direction to fundraise for the Oxford Pancreatic and Liver (OPAL) fund
3 October 2023
Last month, a team of cyclists that included two members of NDS (Mr Alex Gordon-Weeks and Martin Pirkl) cycled coast to coast of England to raise funds for OPAL. Here, Martin tells us more.
Mr Alex Gordon-Weeks and I recently helped form a team of seven people who set off on a 130-mile coast to coast bike from Whitehaven to South Shields. The team consisted of four surgeons, a hospital manager, a security officer, and a research coordinator, all pulling in one direction – to fundraise for the Oxford Pancreatic and Liver (OPAL) fund, which is part of Oxford Hospitals Charity.
The biggest challenge proved to be the weather conditions. Most of the time we were battered by cold rain with temperatures as low as seven degrees Celsius which effectively protected us from overheating while climbing up the Pennines.
The team completed this ride in two days, although, as Alex suggested, it might have been easier to finish it in one go. Indeed, every break from riding meant our bodies would get colder and stiffer as the time went. It was Alex, who miraculously managed to complete the whole ride having fallen sick with cold at the start of the journey!
I would also like to give a shout out to our security officer at the Churchill Hospital, Mathew Obeng. His unconditional love for fellow human beings has already led him to organise/help organise several charity bike rides in the past and we were honoured and blessed to have him in our team.