Vignoble Veloists

Here are each of our reasons for raising money for PROPS:

Paul Hudson:

Opportunity presents itself goes the saying. It has always been my rule that when an opportunity presents itself take it and if it doesn’t, make it! I have had life changing opportunities that some say have enabled me to fulfil at least a part of my potential!

I have been very lucky in being able to take advantage of the opportunities that have come along and when they haven’t, to have been able make them happen. Others are less fortunate.

So, when a few of my cycling buddies made me aware of PROPS and their major fundraising event that involves cycling 500 miles from Bristol to Bordeaux in four days, to raise money and to be able to provide Adults with learning difficulties the opportunity to achieve their full potential I thought why not?

Whilst, initially having some reservations, I reflected on the opportunities I have had in life and the value I put on my own small contribution to the world. Why shouldn’t others be given the opportunity to fulfil their potential and have a meaningful purpose in life? That’s why I am fundraising to help PROPS fulfil their mission and I hope you will support me to raise some money to help them.

Thank you.

Peter Cattermole:

For me, this is the second time that I have participated in the PROPS Bristol to Bordeaux Challenge, so I really appreciate the cause, having spent time at the Vassall Centre where all the good work takes place.

The Challenge is a tough exercise both mentally and physically, with early starts and long days in the saddle and little rest and relaxation time at the end of every day.

The most rewarding part of the challenge for me, which I completed in 2018, was the return journey, where I was able to spend time with the five students who came along and cycled along with us. Hearing their stories about the day to day activities at the Vassall Centre was very positive and uplifting, for example, about how they spend days caring for their market garden and take and sell the produce at the local Markets. These are fantastic life skills, which they would not normally gain in a normal life.

Also, the Centre provides respite for the student’s families who care for these people whilst they are at the Centre. So, once again, I will be doing the miles and building up to the challenge, which once again I hope will be a great success.

Thank you.

Graham Simpson:

I first met all the Team and students from PROPS in 2014 and instantly recognised this Charity and Schooling, as such a worthwhile organisation, filling a skill gap in educating students with learning disabilities and preparing them for a working life. In 2015 I heard about their main Charity Event, a 500 mile cycle ride from Bristol to Bordeaux and a challenge to reach there in 4 days. 'Yes I’m up for’ that I said, not knowing what an intense training regime laid ahead. Winter months through ice, rain, wind and snow all thrown at me, but the thought of supporting such a fantastic organisation spurred me on to forget about the conditions. July arrived and with fear and nervousness we were off, 60 riders, 4 days, 500 miles.

Day 1, legs hurt and I now faced day 2, which consisted of hill after hill, but we made it. 252 miles behind us and 248 to go, 39 degrees of heat shining on my exhausted body. Day 3, long flat straight roads lay ahead and no bend in the road to be seen for miles, fellow riders hurting with knee and leg pains, but Team work pulled us along, even more encouraged by Craig and Stuart who are students riding alongside us.

Day 4, last day, stunning scenery as we pass through the wine growing regions, unfortunately no wine for us, we had a job to do! Bordeaux ahead and a huge round of applause from the Bordeaux dignitaries who came to meet us, I burst into tears as the emotion of completing this challenge overwhelmed us. We did it and we all felt so proud, young and old riders all together, with one aim to support such a fantastic Charity.

With such ore of the work PROPS do, I signed up for the challenge again in 2016, 2019 and now 2020. I only had the years in between off, due to a serious and life changing leg break, which hampered my ability, but I still pushed myself to return.

What gets us through this challenge, is the support we receive from generous sponsorship. Without it PROPS would not be able to consistently offer such life changing abilities to the Students. All the monies raised goes directly to the Charity, as expenses for the ride are covered by ourselves.

Please help our Team. Paul, John, Peter and myself really need your help to spur us along the way, challenging winter training and ultimately 500 miles over 4 days, is no mean task, but ultimately its the support this amazing Charity needs to continue its work. B2B is the main fund raising event, so lets make the 2020 ride so special by raising awareness and funds for many years to come.

Thank you.

John Bale:

I first completed the Bristol to Bordeaux ride 2 years ago. It wasn't easy, lack of sleep and riding through the heat - it was tough and by no means easy and makes you think clearly, that you are pretty comfortable in life compared to others. But, here I am again, taking part to support PROPS and my fellow colleagues.

I don't see it as a hardship, as there are many people needing our help with keeping PROPS going year on year and this bicycle ride supports this. The Vassall Centre in Bristol is what it's all about, to help people who struggle in life, to create funds for this is a great future cause.

I guess, one of the things I am looking forward too, will be the lunches, normally 100 miles in, as both Graham's wife Ann and my wife Nicky, have put themselves forward as Volunteers. Just hope they don't get lost !!! So please donate to this worthy Charity.

Thank you.

Vignoble Veloists