Hannon-Dalby shows his pedal power in fund-raising ride
Report By Brian Halford
OLIVER Hannon-Dalby has completed a gruelling five-day charity cycle ride that covered 360 miles of hilly terrain in England and Wales.
The Warwickshire seamer was among 60 riders who took part in Big Bike Ride 3 which aims to raise £125,000 for the Professional Cricketers’ Association Benevolent Fund and the Tom Maynard Trust.
Though Hannon-Dalby ended the marathon a bit bruised and battered from a nasty fall near the Welsh border, his verdict on the event overall was unequivocal: “I loved it.”
“It was tough going,” he said, “very tough, at times, especially on the last day going up some of those Welsh hills, but it was a great experience for two great causes.
“I was in the second of the three groups and there was some great banter with a few Yorkies in there. But everyone was really supportive all along the route. We had some fantastic support everywhere we went.
“I did take a tumble just before the end of day three when we were coming down quite a steep hill just this side of the Welsh border. I was just behind the main group and hit a branch, came off and slid quite a long way on the gravel. I was a bit bruised and battered but it was nothing serious.
“I was back in the saddle next morning and enjoying the fantastic scenery we went through along the way. And the sense of achievement when we crossed the finishing line was pretty special.
“I absolutely loved it. It was my first time on the Big Bike Ride and I will definitely be up for it again.”
During the ride, which began at Edgbaston and concluded in Cardiff, the cyclists climbed a total of more than 26,000 feet and visited 16 community cricket clubs in Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Wales, as well as three county headquarters grounds.
The peloton included former England players Marcus Trescothick, Tim Bresnan, Michael Vaughan, Geraint Jones and Matthew Maynard, the father of Tom, the Surrey and former Glamorgan batsman who died in tragic circumstances in 2012.
Although Big Bike Ride 3 is over, the fund-raising continues. Donations can be made to support the riders until 30th November with the total raised, with Gift Aid, already over £79,000.
Worcestershire’s Badsey-born batsman Daryl Mitchell, chairman of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, has described Big Bike Ride 3 as one of the toughest challenges he has ever completed in his life.
“It’s certainly one of the hardest things I have done physically and mentally as well. It’s been pretty tough but all for two good causes. To get through that with good mates in the group is pretty special. It’s definitely something that I will look back on be very proud of myself,” said Mitchell.
Going to Worcester was pretty special for me. Knowing the roads in helped and the last 20 miles from Cleobury Mortimer to riding through the gates at New Road was one of my highlights.”