GR20 :: Over £2,000 raised for Shelterbox

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gig rower charity bike rideThis weekend over 40 GigRowers took part in GR20, a charity bike ride that took riders along Cornwall’s south coast past 20 Gig Clubs & 140 miles to raise money for Shelterbox.

The ride started on Saturday at Fowey as riders set off in freezing rain, a westerly gale and ice on the side of the road – there was a little stunned silence as on the way to Fowey at Truro there was a hail white-out. Conditions failed to improve as riders passed Par, Charlestown, Mevagissey, Gorran, Roseland, Truro, Devoran, Mylor, Penryn before stopping for lunch in Falmouth.  The event was always supposed to provide a challenge and that it did as the hilly route and harsh conditions took their toll on all the riders.

The afternoon took riders past Helford, Coverack, Cadgwith and up onto the exposed Lizard where riders battled with the gale force winds to get to Lizard Youth Hostel, cake & tea. The climbs around Mevagissey, Caerhays, Mylor, Coverack and Cadgwith were particularly notable – steep, brutal and twisting and turning. Climbing School Lane in Coverack at the end of the day really wasn’t what I wanted to do at the time especially as there was still Cadwith to come.

As if the climbs weren’t enough, the windy blasting “fire-hose” of ice and rain experienced in Falmouth due to a particularly dark and foreboding storm cloud was something that sent the riders scuttling for shelter (I ended up in a bus stop but was thoroughly soaked by then). The weather wasn’t finished with us and the final run across the Lizard brought gale force sidewinds that are always a challenge!

After a hot shower, a great dinner and a few beers at the ‘Top House’ (8 pints of Rattler for Uncle Andy) morale was back up as riders tucked into bed in the storm lashed hostel.

Storm force 10 winds put paid to the planned second day route and so after a early morning reroute the riders were bused to a point between St Ives and Zennor and then rode back to Lizard via Mounts Bay and Porthleven (well, very near Porthleven) for a Sunday Roast before heading home for a hot bath. The 30+ mph tail wind gave all a fast and exciting finish into the carpark at Lizard.

A big well done to all riders, I’m off for a bath now but add a comment to this post with your version of the weekend.

:: Stats ::

Day 1 (Fowey-Lizard) : 78 miles (125km), total climbing 5714ft (1742m).
Day 2 alternative route : 32 miles (51km), total climbing 2181ft (664m).
Totals : 110 miles (176km), climb 7895ft (2406m).
Day 2 full route 52.4 miles – (Trevor and Daniel – who were able to hit the day fresh having not done day 1).

If you have any pics please send them to so I can add them to this post.

Plannning for the next GR-ide is already under way!

A BIG Thank You to:

Garrick for getting out of bed at 4am and driving the bike trailer across Cornwall
Dave the Bus for getting us there
Kim for her brillllliant chili
Hutch for his world class coleslaw
Esther for her tasty crumble, bread & butter and cleaning x
Jeremy, without all his help the whole thing would have gone horribly wrong, cheers J 😉
Ali’s Mom and Sally for the mountain of cake
Tommy from Shlterbox for helping out over the weekend
Polly his girlfriend for providing tea and cake on King Harry
Neil for proving that little people really can do great things
Greg for his porridge
The Riders, for getting involved and raising so much cash



Trevor Richards and Daniel Oates completed the full route on Day 2 into the teeth of storm force winds, well done chaps, here is the email from Trevor and some pics.Image0251

”Big head wind all the way, completed the full course as per the map 54.2 miles at an average speed of 9 mph and went over the finish line in Hayle at 4p.m. Thanks for all the hard work you and your team have put in over a long period of time and I am pleased to confirm The Handstand appeal and the Coverack Gig Club Junior section will benefit 50/50 from the £750.00 raised.  Daniel raised money for Cancer, so along with what other money that was raised this weekend and the improved fitness levels it has got to be a win win situation. ”

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8 Comments on "GR20 :: Over £2,000 raised for Shelterbox"

  1. Paul Dyer

    Cracking weekend, the weather sucked but Saturday was still an awesome day, even with the odd wrong turn, wet feet and the rest. Sunday was great, especially the sprint from Culdrose down the Lizard. Roll on next year. Organisation was great, anyone who didn’t come missed out big time.

    Quote of the weekend: My GPS says this way even though the route says that way, it’s about time I started trusting my GPS! (Never trust a man with a GPS.)

    Worst moment: Being over taken by road bikes and Toby’s porridge.

    Best Moment: Cakes, especially that apple cake and the bread and butter pud.

    Up for it next time? Bring it on, already saving for a road bike and tights!

    Loudest snoring: Tony Short without a doubt…he’s a real honker!

  2. Hi guys,

    Once again I’d just like to say a huge thank you on behalf of ShelterBox – it was a fantastic effort from all involved, both in the organisation and in taking part – I honestly can’t thank you all enough.

    With regards to the money you’ve raised, the easiest way would be to send a cheque made payable to ShelterBox to ShelterBox, Unit 1a, Water-Ma-Trout, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 0LW, UK.

    If you mark the envelopes ‘FAO – Tommy Tonkins – GR20’ then we’ll be able to get a definite total of how much GR20 raised and have some kind of official cheque handover. If you do want to donate online you can do that through – any questions drop me a e-mail,

    Worst moment – reversing the Land Rover into a post on the first night, might take a while to live that one down!

    Quote – Polly: ‘No one looks good in Spandex – not even Paddy!’

    Thanks again everyone,


  3. Tinks

    ” From Elliot, Paul and myself (Lyme Regis Gig Club) thanks a million for arranging a wonderful weekend, when I get over the pain, I’ll have to admit that it was a great craik.

    As new entrants to the gig rowing community we were overcome by the friendliness of everyone who took part and can’t wait to see you all on the circuit. If you ever need help in east Devon or Dorset, just call.

    Look forward to seeing you again.

    All the very best – Tony Short ”

  4. Ali Johns

    Also a big thank-you to the lady from Coverack Gig Club for providing refreshments for several hours on Sat afternoon -Em and I may not have made it back up out of Coverack without that extra boost! Ali

  5. andy blake

    Hats off to all the people who made it possible for everyone to a top weekend, fantastic job at sorting out a second cycle route at the last moment.What a great bunch of people to spend weekend with,a special thanks goes to the light house keeper for shinning his light into are bedroom every 15 seconds.
    Quote of the weekend.
    from neil rogers” l put my rehydration tablets in my mouth , l looked like a rabbed dog!
    Worst moment, top house barmaid said”sorry me hamsome you lot have drunk us out of guinness”
    best moment,barmaid said “but we do have rattler”
    snoring/ together paddy and steve reached an ear bleeding 280 desabells, l know that because jeremy measured it on his expensive watch.
    Up for it next time Anything that raises money for good causes , count me in.

  6. Stu W

    Thank you everyone for a fantastic weekend, looking forward to the next one.

    Quote of the weekend: by MattG as we turned left at the Norway Inn “Isn’t it funny how hills like this seem worse when in a car”
    Worst moment: The hail on the drive to Fowey and wondering how bad the cycle ride was going to be!
    Best Moment: The masses of food cooked for Saturday night!
    Up for it next time? Defo!
    Loudest snoring: I didn’t hear any snoring!! Out for the count after 5 pints of Tribute!

    Well done everybody for raising so much money for a very worthy cause.


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