Pedalling to London in our pyjamas

June 27 2014

BRAVING the elements, an eight-year-old boy from Redland, and his mum, set about on a cycle ride to London - in their pyjamas.

BRAVING the elements, an eight-year-old boy from Redland, and his mum, set about on a cycle ride to London - in their pyjamas.

The duo - who have raised almost £2,000 for Prostate Cancer UK, a disease which Jake Decker's granddad had suffered from - cycled 196 miles from Bristol Temple Meads to London Bridge, where the charity's head office is based.

Jake had only learned to ride a bicycle last year, when his mum, Chrissie Decker, took him on a cycle ride to Devizes.

Chrissie said: "When we stopped at Bradford-on-Avon, there was a map showing a route to London. Jake turned around to me and said, 'let's do it in our pyjamas and raise money for charity'."

It took eight days to reach London, with one day spent at Legoland Windsor.

The pair set off on their May half term adventure, which took six months to plan, against a backdrop of torrential rain.

Chrissie said: "It was a shame the weather was a bit miserable. We set off from our house, and it was absolutely hammering it down, but the neighbours were really encouraging, waving us off with flags.

"I foolishly hadn't checked the route properly either before we left, and we missed a turning on our first day, and went off track quite a bit - nine miles in the opposite direction - so we decided to ride cross country, where I then got a puncture."

It took Chrissie and Jake around 12 hours to arrive at their first stop in Bradford-on-Avon, having cycled 40 miles, when it was only meant to take 26.

She added: "I think it gave Jake a good idea of what to expect, and what obstacles we could face along the way. It gave him a good frame of mind."

Day three was also challenging for the pair due to contentious weather conditions.

"At one point, Jake laid down on the path and said, 'I can't do this anymore', but after day three it got better.

"It gave us a really nice opportunity to hang-out, just the two of us, especially in the hustle and bustle of everyday life."

They rode all day, from morning to evening, along the National Cycle Route 4, stopping regularly to graze and play 'Pooh Sticks' at every bridge.

"It was a very proud moment when we arrived in London, and it was lovely to spend the day there.

"We're already starting to look at different routes for next year."

Chrissie and Jake Dekker in London