TWO Wrexham finance firm bosses have raised £7,000 by completing a gruelling 240-mile cycling trek from Vietnam to Cambodia in aid of a hospice.
Medwyn Edwards and James Parry, Directors of Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management, were part of a 24-strong team who tackled the two-wheel challenge for Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham.
In total the group raised more than £120,000 for the hospice after riding from Ho Chi Minh City across Vietnam to Angkor Wat in Cambodia during a six-day stint in which they experienced a huge downpour, stifling humidity and chaotic road conditions.
Father-of-two James Parry described the charity challenge as ‘one of the best experiences of my life’ despite not being an experienced cyclist.
He said: “I’ve never done anything like this before. I’d not been out cycling with any consistency for 15 years, probably not since I was a kid.
“I got myself a hybrid bike but only went out on it about five times. I also bought a static spin bike and trained on that quite a bit – three or four times a week but only for 45 minutes to an hour at a time.
“The first day was relatively straightforward. It was less miles than the other days because we’d been travelling and with the jet lag they didn’t want to cripple us on the first day!
“It was still 45 miles though and it was like a monsoon. I couldn’t have been wetter if I had jumped in a river! I did think to myself can I do this?
“The next day it was 35C and incredibly hot. It was really tough that second day. By 10am I’d already drank four litres of water. Everyone was doing a rain dance as it was actually easier riding in the rain!
“The scenery in Cambodia was incredible, out of this world, but the roads were significantly harder to cycle there.”
James added: “It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. It was a fantastic fundraiser for Nightingale House who we regularly back.
“The whole team got on great, cheering each other on particularly whenever someone was struggling in the heat.
“I’ll definitely keep on cycling now. I said to Med who is a keen cyclist and gets out a fair bit that I have a new found respect for cyclists. It’s a very different way to travel.”
Medwyn Edwards, who is a member of Marford and Gresford Cycling Club and a trustee of Nightingale House Hospice, has been a keen cyclist for the past six years and rides around 100 miles a week.
He said: “I have been over there before on holiday so I was familiar with the food and the people but I’d never been outside the traditional tourist areas.
“Overall the roads were OK but a bit hectic. You get a lot of traffic in Vietnam and it tends to be chaotic with trucks, cars, cyclists and people walking but it wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be.
“The rain was quite heavy on the first day but it was warm so you didn’t feel the cold from being wet and that was OK.
“But the rest of the week was really hot and quite often up to 35C. We really could have done with a few more showers!
“Cycling in Vietnam was really good but Cambodia was even better. The views and the terrain were incredible.
“It was a brilliant experience and I was delighted to help raise such a significant amount for Nightingale House. I have many friends and clients who have benefitted from the wonderful work the hospice does.”
Delyth Underwood, Nightingale House Hospice In Memory and Giving Fundraiser who also took part in the challenge, said: “This has been one of our most ambitious and successful fundraising events ever.
“We are so proud of Medwyn and James who joined 22 others to cycle 383Km in heat exceeding 35 degrees and 60 per cent humidity over a whole week.
“The team have raised an extraordinary amount of money between them for Nightingale House, holding fundraising events as well as training to do the cycle.
“Lots of people have very personal reasons for doing such a challenge but it really takes guts and determination to take part and complete a challenge like this and we cannot thank James and Medwyn enough.”
Prior to the challenge, Medwyn and James took part in an eight-hour relay static bike ride outside the hospice’s Regent Street shop where they were joined in their efforts by members of their 26-strong workforce. They raised more than £300.
To donate to Medwyn go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/robert-medwyn-edwards1 or James, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-parry13