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What. A. Ride! Nelson’s Tour de Test Valley 2018

As we say goodbye to another cracking year down at Ride HQ, event organiser Marcus Chapman, has a few final words for everyone who played a part.

Thank you to everyone who made it along to Nelson’s Tour de Test Valley this week. It was such a special day, made by you guys turning up with a smile, jumping on your steed and taking on the tarmac with such panache!

We cannot thank you enough, not just because it raises such crucial funds for CALM but also the special atmosphere you bring to the day. Despite the tragic loss of Nelson a positive legacy now lives on, and your incredible support is helping people open up about their own mental health, quash the stigmas, and help CALM’s continuous fight to reduce male suicide.

So far 2018’s Tour de Test Valley has raised almost £45,000 for CALM and almost £335,000 to date.

It was so cool to see cyclists of all ages and abilities on the start line – from two year olds grinning in bike seats, to riders completing all three distances, clocking over 180 miles in under 12 hours – yep road warriors Jono Wood, Mark Kent, Jonny Russell and Paul Vines did just that.

Jono Wood and friends. Credit Hamish Duncan

A massive fist boom must go to Neil McNair and Kenny Craig (pictured below) for their mammoth Grande Tour de Test mission – 1200km from door to start line and raising over £5500 for CALM in the bum numbing process. True heroes.

There were so many valiant rides but mentions must go to Olly Crowden, (son of Rod from the farm, a key cog in making this event happen every year), at 15 years of Olly became the youngest ever rider to conquer the 100 miler, an amazing and brave effort, especially as he came across the line looking fresh as a daisy, (if a little hungry!) Incredible. Rachel Baddeley must also get a shout out for conquering the Full Monty with a broken rib. And Ewan Sladen (14) and Mia Brookes (11) who nailed the 50 miles like it was the school run, their gang raising over £2000 in the process. Flipping brilliant.

Olly Crowden at the start line

Some other fundraising standouts are eight-year-old Max Golding raising over a £500 cycling the 25 mile, and Richard Edwards raising £3500 for tackling his first ever hundred miler.

Hell Cat crew hitting the road after a 150 mile slog from North Devon

A mention has to go the crew from the legendary (on the bike and dance floor) Hell Cat Mudwrestlers from Barnstaple, North Devon. They decided driving to the event was for wimps so hopped on their steel chariots and rode the 150miles through the night, and after a swift bacon butty straight into the 100 mile Full Monty. Not sure that feat will ever be surpassed! Marcus did find Giles one of the team having a sneaky power nap, snoring away happily in the hay bales…

Stretching out the those stiff legs with Health Shed Life.

After trying to keep up with her kids Oscar and Suki on the 25 miler, Sian Leigh from Health Shed Life hosted a brilliant yoga session for wooden and stiff legs. The perfect relax and rejuvenation after hard miles banging about tin the saddle, in fact so relaxing for some there were gentle snores heard radiating across the field. Check out Health Shed Life.

Thanks too to anyone that bought a jersey or cap this year. It’s always brilliant to see you all lined up looking spiffing in our clobber, this year’s design by Dale Stilling we thought was one of the best yet. Check out his work here. 


We have to say a MASSIVE thank you to all the partners and sponsors that help make this event happen, without them nothing would be possible. VANS Footwear, Langdowns DFK, Knight Frank, Madison, Harry Lodge from Halo Sports, Andy Cook Cycling and Cycle Central from Ludgershall.

Long-time supporter Nick Loweth (right) from Knight Frank Hungerford still grinning after 100 miles

Without our trusty volunteers we wouldn’t have a hope of pulling this event off. From the registration staff, CALM helpers, the feed station crews, Rod and Bill on the farm and to all the people who helped bake food. Legends.

A massive thanks has to go to the Pratt Family (especially Nelson’s Mum who bakes a 1000 brownies!), the amazing Bowtell’s caterers, Expresso Fix Coffee, Medi-Bike and Ricky Hill on his bike, Stockbridge Oesteopathic Practice, Gary Harris Bike Mechanics, Results Base, the Army guys for running the bar, Olympic snowboarder Jenny Jones, and all the amazing friends and volunteers who make the event happen.

Olympic bronze medallist Jenna Jones with Emma from Stockbridge Oesteo Practice.

In the next couple of weeks we will release our film from the day, obviously we only filmed you at your most fresh and glorious.  In the meantime, check out our finish line photos on CALM’s Facebook Album here.

The biggest thanks from Nelson’s brother Chris and Marcus for making this such a special day. See you in the saddle next year – we hope!


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