RockRode2 the End or the Beginning?

It was not so long ago that we stood in sun-baked Casemates Square in Gibraltar with a 1500 mile ultra ride ahead of us and a cheering and smiling band of supporters including PProGM Roger Croombe wishing us all bon voyage,
especially our own rider for Middlesex, Peter Lawrence.

You might be forgiven for thinking that this was the start of RockRide2, indeed for the casual spectator it was, for the radio presenters and the newspapers, for the general public this was the beginning of the adventure.For the 15 riders who had spent 12 months straining sinews and bursting lungs in mile after endless mile of training and practice, for the organisers who had dedicated an equal amount of time preparing routes, organising accommodation, logistics and transport, for the promoters who had spent a year presenting, mailing, fundraising and interviewing this was the culmination of the most intense
time in their lives.

So when Miss World 2010 cut the ribbon, and the cheers went up, the moment we had all worked for was finally here
and off we set.

That day’s challenges set the scene for the fortnight to come, 35 degrees of heat, 100 miles and a climb of over one vertical mile saw the support crew aghast at the sheer grit of the riders each of whom pushed beyond the point of most people’s endurance and kept going through a mixture of physical brilliance and a desire not to let their charities down and the first
day was complete.

Each day saw different challenges from the Hill of Death on the 3rd day to the sheer breath sapping distances of the Plains of La Mancha and the long unbending roads of Western France.

As the fortnight progressed the camaraderie was sometimes tested but never failed and, as we got within the last few days before reaching the Normandy Coast, the enthusiasm, banter and japes mellowed subtly into a quite determination as pains, injury, soreness and fatigue tested all; but one thing was certain; no-one was going to give in.

Arriving at Adams Park was an emotional climax to our adventure as the crowd of about 1000 including ProvGM Alistair Mason erupted with cheers as the riders swept triumphantly in.The ride was an experience that we will all hold in our hearts for many years to come. Where we go form here is
entirely up to us.

The Charities will do brilliant work with the £250,000 + raised by RockRide2 and, as such, our legacy will live on. As for the rest of us, let’s take the example set by Peter and his fellow RockRiders and ensure that Freemasonry is seen widely as a Force for Good in Society, that way what we started in Casemates Square will continue.