A Westbury cyclist has covered the length of the country on her bike, riding solo and unsupported from Land’s End to John O’Groats, while carrying a very special and symbolic baton.
Army captain Nicole Evans took on the tough challenge in support of Help for Heroes and The Baton, a charity which aims to raise awareness amongst the British public about the reality of life for service personnel and their families in the British Armed Forces and to ensure that they are given the level of support that they are rightfully due.
In order to promote the charity, Nicole carried the baton, which is the handle of a military stretcher, with her on her journey.
It’s the longest cycle route Nicole has ever undertaken, yet she only decided to take up the challenge a few weeks before setting out. “It’s something I really wanted to do, and it just so happened that I had the amount of time free that it would take to do,” she said. “I met the chap who started the charity at a wedding and so ended up carrying the handle of the stretcher, the baton!”
Nicole began her ride on Wednesday 18th August, and rode solo and unsupported before triumphantly arriving at John O’Groats on Friday 27th August. “It feels fantastic, and it was actually quite emotional when I finished at the end,” she said. “Some days were more challenging than others, particularly when there was rain, but at other times is was really enjoyable. And it was a really good way to meet people on the way up. Everywhere you stop people ask why you do it, and so many turn out to be forces related!”
Nicole is currently based in Germany with the Educational Training Services, but continues to call Westbury home. As well as carrying the baton, Nicole wore her Help for Heroes cycling jersey as she undertook the challenge, which resulted in spontaneous donations to the charity from people along the way.