August 26, 2011, by Andrew Burden
JoGLE Blog: D Day Minus 1
We are finally on the move, though not yet in the saddle.
After a morning of final checks, answering emails, signing letters and clearing my desk, we set off for Birmingham Airport and a flight to Inverness. It was really nice to have a farewell party turn out at the Trent Building, including Clare Anderton and Becky Blunden, who have done such a marvellous job in getting everything set up.
Our flight was delayed by an hour. Although everyone is clearly impatient to get started, the hold-up failed to dampen spirits, nor an obvious growing sense of anticipation.
On the flight north, we were sufficiently low with enough breaks in the clouds to get a good view of some of the terrain we pass through next week. The borders looked benign rather than forbidding, the Cairngorms looked straightforwardly forbidding!
Inverness turned out to be sunny and mild, a novel experience for me. Let’s hope it lasts.
It is the first time the entire team of 11 riders has been together, not surprising with two being from the China and Malaysia Campuses. Most have been on the road together at one time or another. I personally have cycled with everyone apart from Neville.
It is more than two years since I first suggested JoGLE to several colleagues. At that time I am not really sure I understood what we were getting in to. Right now I feel nothing but excitement at being on the point of departure.
None of us really know what to expect, but everyone is buoyed by the level of interest and support from the University community. For every one of us this will be a demanding personal challenge, but there is a palpable sense of purpose, driven by the extraordinary generosity shown by our sponsors. We are now over £180,000 and have £200,000 in our sights.
That level of support is genuinely humbling as well as motivating. It will also make a real difference to the work of the Sue Ryder Centre.
August 25th 2011