The cycling duo who aimed to spell ‘welcome refugees’ via a tracking app rose to the mammoth challenge.

Georgie Cottle, 26, and David Charles, 39, of Thighs of Steel, a cycling community, set a Guinness World Record for the largest bicycle GPS drawing (team) to raise money for the charity Choose Love.

The cycle started on August 17 in St Austell Cornwall and ended on September 18 at 7 p.m. on Dover Beach in Kent, and they have so far raised nearly £ 55,000, with the couple thanking the British public for their generosity.

Final map showing the refugee reception route (Scott Johnston / Thighs of Steel / PA).

Mr Charles, from Bournemouth, told the PA news agency that he and Ms Cottle, from Glasgow, were both ‘quite worried about the final’ e ‘as it was the longest ride in the months (140 km) and due to logistical issues. involved in the achievement of a Guinness World Record.

He added: “The positivity of the group of 30 riders kept us going (and going) through the enormous distance and the Kent hills and through the unexpected heat.

“The people of Kent have been incredibly generous to us, especially at the start point in Wye and the finish line in Dover, where we were greeted on the beach by a group of Migrant Help, including a refugee family. recently arrived from Syria. .

“It was a really meaningful conclusion to a tough month of cycling.”

Thighs of Steel arrives in Dover (Scott Johnston / Thighs of Steel / PA).

Mr Charles said the success of the challenge was due to “hundreds of ordinary people doing a little something to help”.

He added: “Whether it was a shopkeeper in South Brent giving us free snacks, a group of hikers atop Ditchling Beacon emptying their purses into our collection bucket, or a cyclist collapsing in a puddle of sweat on the platform at Grateley station after driving farther than they have ever before.

“These little acts of heroism add to something a little bit special.

“We will never forget that moment when we came down from the cliffs in Dover, the bells of the bikes were ringing, to be greeted by a cheering crowd.”

David Charles Bugle in Dover (Scott Johnston / Thighs of Steel / PA_.

Although the challenge is over, Charles said more could be done to help refugees and “remove the artificial barriers that are erected to prevent refugees from getting on with their lives”.

He said: “Refugees are prohibited from working. This means they have to survive with government support at the poverty line of £ 5.66 per day.

“It’s a lose-lose situation because not only is the government missing out on refugee tax revenues, but our communities are also missing out on the meaningful employment of builders, chefs, scientists, farmers, social workers and others. other essential professions. “

Donations can still be made, and once the collection is complete, Choose Love will decide which refugee projects will be helped through the cyclists.

The link can be accessed at: https://donate.chooselove.org/supporters/lets-spell-it-out/1023/

Mr. Charles added: “This bike ride hasn’t changed the world, but it will change lives.”

The Thighs of Steel team are now planning to participate in a fundraising relay from London to Athens, which they have done in the past.

The couple said the 6,000-mile cycling adventure depended on Brexit and Covid, but even if that didn’t happen they would find something “equally awesome”.


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