A TEACHER has returned from an epic adventure to raise money for pet charities.
Toby Boram, 54, cycled from his home in Chester to Murcia in Spain, all to raise vital funds to help greyhounds in the UK and their Spanish cousins, galgos.
Toby, a teacher at Archers Brook School in Great Sutton, enjoyed a fantastic send off from Vets 4 Pets in Chester, followed by a series of events in Hereford and Bath organised by Forever Hounds Trust volunteers.
It was always going to be a tough challenge and there were struggles along the way.
Toby’s cycling companion Andy Preston, from Essex, suffered a “nasty bug” on day nine and had to retire to the support car for a while.
In addition, there were some horrendous head winds in France that added hours on to an already gruelling ride.
The roads and gradients of the Pyrenees drew every bit of mental and physical determination Toby had as he pushed on up and over to Spain and its searing summer temperatures.
But he rose to the challenge and arrived in Murcia 14 days and 1,500 miles after he set off.
He and his fellow riders were escorted into the San Javier Velodrome by a motorcycle outrider and support cars.
Toby said: “There I was, surrounded by cyclists, with cycle team cars in front and behind, a motorbike speeding past to stop the traffic at the next road junction so
our passage to the velodrome would not be interrupted.
“A dream of mine since first watching the Tour de France on television, and across the road into the velodrome there was a white line showing where the UK2Spain route would end.”
He spent the next few days at the Galgos Del Sol centre doing what he loves best, spending time with the dogs and trying to make a difference to their lives.
The centre has named a kennel in Toby’s honour and he will be bringing home a rescue dog from Spain.
The challenge has so far raised £8,442.44 for Toby’s two favourite charities: Forever
Hounds Trust and Galgos Del Sol.