Chris Dixon (and his bike!) made it safely to the Arctic Circle and raised over £10,000 for the ODC!
This is Chris's story:
Three years ago, in aid of the Open Door Centre, I undertook a solo bike challenge, when I rode the 1,300 miles between the four compass extremities of the British mainland, North, South, East and West. (Take a look at the NSWE photos on our Gallery page) I finished in Scotland at Dunnet Head near John o' Groats and raised over £16,000.
Fast forward to 2019: the Trustees want to extend the ground floor of the Open Door Centre to relieve pressure on the café kitchen and insert a new first floor. Christ Church’s existing and well-used Food Bank will transfer to the first floor which will also have an area for advice and support, a meeting room, a winter night shelter, shower facilities, a washing machine and a demonstration kitchen.
To kick start the fundraising for this final development, I decided to get back in the saddle and resume my 2016 ride at the same latitude (on dry land!). Thus I started in Sweden just north of Gothenburg and cycled solo unsupported for the next 14 days until I reached the Arctic Circle in Norway.
Daily mileages were as high as 107 miles and temperatures varied between five and thirty two degrees
On the day I had to pass over the border from Sweden to Norway I had to contend with dense fog, appalling roads with pot holes and gravel, the roads having been ravaged by five months of winter snow and ice.
I was constantly on the lookout for the elusive moose, there were road signs everywhere warning of these "beasts" and the roads often lined with eight foot high wire fences to prevent road accidents.
Avoiding tunnels was an issue which I managed fairly successfully. One I went through, however was particularly scary but thankfully I got through. Another had a track down the side which took me into a totally isolated environment. Half way along there had been a landslide which I had to negotiate. Signs of moose presence were everywhere.
I met so many helpful people on my trip but perhaps the most memorable was Hubert and he was the last person that I spoke to before reaching the Circle, probably no more than five miles from my ultimate destination. He was an elderly gentleman who had amazingly cycled all the way from Amsterdam. And yes he had cycled all that way wearing the largest wooden clogs I have ever seen and he had a broken foot! I was glad to give to him about a kilo of energy bars to keep him going.
So I reached the Circle with feelings of elation and relief and gladness that I had helped the Open Door start its final development phase. I thank God for keeping me safe and for not being confronted by a wild moose!
I competed this 1004 mile challenge on June 21st 2019 and by doing so have raised a further £9k for the charity bringing my total for the two challenges to £25k. I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me reach this incredible amount. If you would like to show your support for my 'Cycle to the Circle' then please click on the link below. Thank you so much.
To read the full story of Chris's adventure, please click here