River bike ride raises £17,500

'Imagine pedalling through custard ...' The Quadmaran makes its way out of Lincoln.
'Imagine pedalling through custard ...' The Quadmaran makes its way out of Lincoln.

A sponsored bike ride from Boston to Lincoln and back in which the return journey was completed on water has raised £17,500 for charity.

The Saturday before last, while many of us were doing our best to keep cool amid this summer’s heatwave, a team from Mercedes Benz, in Boston, were outdoors, from morning to evening, taking on a very physical fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Going from land to water ...

Going from land to water ...

The group were attempting to ride a four-man bike from Boston to Lincoln, before transferring to water and making their way back along the Witham – a journey of 40 miles there and 38 miles back.

They were: organisers Paul Warrant and Paul Bourne, plus Grant Foster, Sam Marshall, Ryan Muncey, Mark North, and Phil Radley, all from Mercedes; ex-colleague Leyton Hubbert, customer Andy Brown, and True Gym personal trainer Brad Cooke, who had been helping the team prepare for the effort.

Alongside them was Darren Walker-Moomin, of Lincolnshire Boat Training Services, in the support craft.

The bike (which dated from a fundraiser by the dealership in 2015, also for Macmillan) had been converted to travel on water by the University of Lincoln, with some help from Mastenbroek.

One of the lock gates the team had to negotiate.

One of the lock gates the team had to negotiate.

This section of the ride proved ‘amazingly difficult’, Paul Warrant said.

“Imagine pedalling through custard, uphill, in top gear and not being able to change,” he said.

The return journey on board the ‘Quadmaran’ also saw the team suffer a number of additional challenges, including a broken rudder. Improvising, the team bought a snow shovel and used it as a replacement, attaching it to the vessel with bolts and tape.

However, there was no coming back from a chain failure which struck at Anton’s Gowt.

Having used up their spare equipment on an earlier chain failure, they had no choice but to be towed the rest of the way home – arriving about nine-and-a-half hours after setting off from Lincoln.

Despite this disappointment, Paul said: “Overall, we were pretty pleased. We said we would get it back and we did.”

The ride was the third fundraiser organised by the dealership in aid of Macmillan.

A car push from Lincoln to Boston in 2012, inspired by how the charity helped Paul’s family when his father was diagnosed with cancer, raised £6,500 for the cause.

The three in total have raised £40,000-plus.

Jamie Davenport, Macmillan fundraising manager for North and Coastal Lincolnshire, said the sum equated to more than 1,400 hours of Macmillan nurse time and gave a ‘huge thank you’ to the team.

The two Pauls thanked all those who supported the ride, with Paul Warrant making special mention of his wife Tracey and son Jake, 12, and Paul Bourne, doing the same for his wife Hannah, in light of how much time they had to give to the project.