Day six - 20km: Huanghuacheng Great Wall to Ming Tombs
By Sam Tesch
Last night we all crept off to our rooms with the excitement that tomorrow is our last day and we might experience snow. We were assured by Michael, our local leader, that the first snow of the year never settles and that we'll enjoy the final short day. Mark Duckworth, thought otherwise, and had been predicting snow for a number of days.
As we all awoke for the final day we were reminded of our time as a child, pulling back the curtains with excitement and anticipation - has it snowed? And we were not disappointed - a blanket of white covered the ground and it was still actually falling from the sky! We got ready for breakfast and the day ahead, wearing with pride our China cycle shirts, supported by IFDL. We looked great and, as we huddled around the warm coffee, we received our briefing for the day.
Michael acknowledged that the snow was going to cause problems. Those of the team who had already been out on the roads had seen how slippery the roads were. It would have been a tough challenge for any experienced cyclist! It was agreed by the organisers that the team's safety was of the greatest importance and that cycling in the current conditions would be extremely unsafe on the roads we had to travel.
The team were all quietly pleased and happy that, in cycling longer distances at the beginning of the week, we had exceeded the target distance without needing to cycle the final 20km. That said, we all completed our daily warm-up routine and proudly posed for the final day photo in our shirts.
It has been an absolutely amazing challenge. We have experienced all four seasons in our five days of cycling. It was really tough towards the end, with us being wet, cold and sleeping in damp, cold conditions, but we only had to endure this for a very short period of time. Many of the children we are able to help through this challenge's fundraising and the Foundation Grant programme are experiencing these conditions day after day and are not able to change it.
The whole team and all of their supporters really are changing lives and we're so very grateful to have such amazing support. Thank you one and all. We did it 'for the Kids' and are already looking forward to next year's challenge!
If you would like to know more or join the 2016 Cycle Challenge please email firstname.lastname@example.org