Saturday 18th July saw 20 enthusiastic participants raring to go as the forecast showers subsided and we put our feet to the pedals for the scenic 15 mile route 66 Shine Charity Bike Ride 2011 from Cottingham to South Dalton.
The total raised was over £2000 in sponsorship money which will go a long way to helping the orphans and vulnerable children of Kuntamanje and ensuring the vital relief work of Shine will continue in this remote rural area of Malawi.Getting the marshals to their posts ahead of the young and fit proved a challenge as some fast paced riding unfolded between Tom, Alex and Laurence across the varying terrain of off and on road sections and the undulations of the Yorkshire Wolds, through surrounding villages and poppy clad fields before the final descent into South Dalton for strawberries and ice cream in the sunshine outside the village hall. Nearly all who started finished, minus one slight mechanical hitch. Some were more physically challenged than others and faced their own mental battle on the hills, a gentle reminder of the daily struggles faced by the children of Kuntamanje, Malawi, some of whom walk barefoot 6 miles to school each day.
This less famous “Route 66 ” has profound parallels with the more famous Route 66 in the States.
Route 66 in America was associated with the bringing of prosperity as people pushed west along its route in search of new land and opportunities.
Perhaps more than any other American highway, the Mother Road symbolized a new positive outlook that spread through the nation’s postwar economic recovery. More than 200,000 people migrated to California to escape the Dust Bowl of the Midwest, symbolizing the highway as the “road to opportunity.”
But Route 66 was more than just a highway. It became an icon of free-spirited independence linking the United States across the Rocky Mountain divide to the Pacific Ocean representing unprecedented freedom to travel across the American West and linking rural communities, dependent upon transportation for farm products and other goods.
Thank you to all who helped to make this day such a success in so many ways from marshals and participants to cake baking and entertainment, we hope that you all felt as blessed as we did to be part of such a great cause in bringing justice and support to our brothers and sisters in Malawi in their daily battle against the effects of extreme poverty and the ravages of a stolen childhood.
Thank you again for your ongoing support of the work of Shine Relief Trust, we hope to see you all back again next year.