The Gobey Challenge – London to Cambridge bike ride, Sat 18 April


Towards the end of last year little Harry Gobey was diagnosed with Leukemia. We have been in regular touch with the Gobey’s and it got us thinking how easy it is for us to go back to our lives and how hard it must be to live it – but they are doing it with very good grace.

Having met Damian recently, he continues to be unbelievably positive, but it is true to say it is difficult to appreciate their day to day. As an example in a 2 week period Harry had 2 general anesthetics, 1 blood transfusion, and spent 50% of his time in hospital due to high temperatures / antibiotics etc…. It goes on

It sounds one of the hardest parts of the journey has been the hospital environment, and as they and many other families are there a lot treating Leukemia, was there something simple we can do to make this a little more bearable. To show our support to Damian and Vics and Addenbrookes Hospital


So our purpose is to do something to support Damian, Vic’s, Darcy and of course Harry. But also the hospital. It is to have fun and by just taking part in some form (there are many) will be an emotional help for the family.

The Event – Overview

Date; Sat 18th April (an early start)

London to Cambridge bike ride – finishing at The Red Lion Pub Granchester for a lunch party for friends and family.

A bike ride from London to Cambridge – to raise some money for Addenbrookes Charitable Trust to help the environment for parents/children there and something the Gobey’s can decide on with the hospital .

But it will be also be about raising the understanding of leukaemia and the work of the hospital, so we can be a bit more part of the Gobey’s journey so they have people to turn to that ‘get it’ better than we do right now

We would love to have as many family and friends to get involved – so those who don’t want to cycle can come to the lunch party in Cambridge

It might be a handful, it might be more people it doesn’t matter

Itinerary for Sat 18th April

  • 630am meet at Totenham Hale Railway station
  • 7am depart
  • 7am-1pm; London to Cambridge bike ride (c.60miles) – 4 stops on route
  • 12-5pm; Lunch party at The Red Lion Pub, Granchester
  • c3pm; Presentation to representative of Addenbrookes Hospital / photo’s
  • 5pm; Depart

The Route

A big thank you to Jon Bawden for his advice / help / support – this wouldn’t have been possible without him.

For the Confirmed route click here

You can zoom in and run through route on this interactive site – also riders will be able to print out directions before ride, and for the ‘techy’ types who have garmin or other gps devices there is even an option to download the route into their device.

Route info is as follows :


Start point will be Tottenham Hale Station and route will take riders out of the Lea Valley via Waltham Abbey, Nazing Common, and then skirts around Harlow to Roydon.

At Roydon there is a railway station on the main line from Liverpool St to Cambridge, so this we are using as a suitable drink / feed stop & joining point.

Next the route goes out to Stanstead Abbots, and turns onto minor roads towards Hunsdon, Widford, and Much Hadham. We then take the road from Much Hadham to Bishops Stortford and after working our way through the centre of Stortford head towards Stansted Mountfichit. Ride through Stansted Mountfichet and turn off on minor roads towards Ugley Green and Elsenham.

At Elsenham we cross over the railway and head towards Henham for the 3/4 distance stop at ‘the cock’ PH. Again there will be a refreshment stop as well as a place for cycylists to join the ride.

From Henham we will take the back lanes out through Debden and drop down into the centre of Saffron Walden.

This is a new stop – and now very important as they are organising PR for The Challenge!

This stop is at a new cafe in Saffron Walden – Bicicletta; Coffee con Velo They are brilliantly organising PR for The Gobey Challenge – the work at Addenbrookes and Leukaemia. There is free tea and cake for a refuel.

After climbing out of Saffron Walden towards Little Chesterford and Great Chesterford, we then pass under the M11 / A11 at Stumps Cross.

The Carpark by McDonalds restaurant at A505 junction at Duxford which is at (55 miles, 5 remaining). There is no long term parking here where there will be another pit stop

The final run into Cambridge takes riders along the A1301 into Great Shelford, and into Trumpington which is the outer edges of Cambridge. Its then a 5 minute ride into Grantchester and the finish at The Red Lion Pub


Refreshment stops / Start points:

There will be a support vehicle with some basic refreshments (water / chocolates) at each of the following points;

  • Start – Main start at Tottenham Hale outside the station (60miles)
  • 1st stop – Roydon Railway station (42 remaining)
  • 2nd stop – Henham (23 remaining)
  • 3rd stop – Bicicletta Cafe Saffron Waldon (12 miles remaining)
  • 4th stop – Carpark by McDonalds restaurant at A505 junction at Duxford (5miles remaining)
  • Finish – The Red Lion Pub, Granchester

Starting along the route

Please note starting along the route you may have to wait / pick up a group or possibly will be starting on your own. The best place to pick up the route would be Henham – the 3/4 point – where there will be more people from the village around

Familiarisation with the route

Riders need to make themselves familiar with route. As standard make sure you have either printed copy of map/directions to refer to, or some riders may prefer to make up their own ‘route cards’ that can be attached to handlebars of bikes.

Additionally there are 4 options to understand / follow the route so you don’t get lost!!;

  • -memorise it!
  • -go orienteering – ie have a map!
  • -Garmin it (the GPX file from the route works fine – so i am told?!)
  • -App – download the app below for your smartphone

The App

We highly recommend downloading this App (or Jon ‘the route master’ Bawden does)and then putting the route into it so if you get lost you know how to find your way to the next pub!! You can downlad an App;

Download this app (click here) and put in the route (click here)

3 Groups (fast, middle and not so fast)

The plan is to split into 3 groups for  your safety / road users road-rage. These are;

  1. -Fast (c.4hrs)
  2. -Intermediate (c.5hrs)
  3. -Slow (c.6hrs)

The plan is for each group to have 2 team leaders (i) to sit at the front – directing (ii) to sit at te back to make sure everyone is OK . The leaders can lead/direct at junctions – also can help if each group has a tail end charlie to make sure the group sticks together.

Anyone who is happy to take on responsibility for the team leaders – most competent riders and willing to help with the overall event (ie not wanting to set fastest London – Cambridge times, we would really appreciate your help

Support team / vehicles

Thank you SO much to those who have agreed to be support vehicles. Here is the plan (with more details to follow);

Support vehicles

We will have a support car at each of the main stops. These will act as collectors for anybody having a mechanical issue. These support vehicles will be given 1 of the 5 sections of the route to look after.

All riders will be given emergency contact numbers for the support if needed

Each vehicle will have some basic supplies for refreshments ie water / chocolates – but unlikely to have and basic mechanical support. This is down to each rider

Broom Wagon

A huge thank you to Paul Chlapik who – even though he has gone down with pneumonia so cant do the ride – has offered his help with his van to act as the broom wagon. what is a broom wagon? Paul will sit at the back of the field and if anyone falls into difficulty ‘sweeps up’ anyone that needs the help.

The van can probably get about 5-6 bikes in the back but only 1-2 people in the front. So if there are breakdowns we will coordinate between cars and van. We will try and have some basic mechanical kit (but again please don’t rely on this)


All riders should carry at least 1 spare inner tube, tools to change tube in case of puncture, a small pump (hopefully each of the group leaders will have the experience to be able to assist if needed). Although there will be stops also have water bottles, energy bars etc. Of course remember your helmet, gloves, bike shoes/clips, rediculous clothing etc etc

Highway code

Riders need to be aware of their responsibility for safety, such as not riding 2 abreast on the busiest routes and using good clear indications of intent when coming to junctions, etc. This is so important. please dont get carried away with the day. Act responsibly, especially those of us who dont ride that much please read this

Emergency numbers

We will supply print out ‘slips’ with emergency numbers that riders can collect at the start & we will aim to email them out so that riders can put them into their phones.


Will depend on riders fitness levels – the fastest riders will be getting to Cambridge in 3h30min -3h45min, and it could take the slowest up to 6 hours+ so please bare this in mind when picking your groups

Team Kit

We would like everyone who is riding to wear a team kit to help promote ACT. There are 2 options;

  1. T-Shirts ACT branded @ £2.50
  2. Proper personally branded gnarly racing shirt @ c.£20.00

Andrew Cowan has very kindly agreed to coordinate orders. Please contact him directly (although now is probably too late)

Directions to the Red Lion for lunch – important information

Granchester Bridge closed; For people driving to the pub the bridge at Granchester is maybe closed – see link. So best to use M11 and come off at J12 then travel down Coton Rd to Grantchester (5 mins from J12)

Lunch @ Red Lion, Granchester

Lunch will be at the Red Lion Pub,

Red Lion Pub, 33 High Street, Granchester, Cambridgeshire, CB3 9NF

Facebook; Red-Lion-Granchester,

The Gobies have kindly reserved the whole pub. A buffet style Lunch has been planned for adults and children. There is outside space, its own play area, beer garden (very nice) and the River Cam is a 2 minute walk from the pub (see photos on web site)

Costs – Lunch £20 adults £10 kids – to be paid on the day 

Hot Buffet Menu example

Chicken Biryani with rice (Or a form of chicken dish with rice)
Warm Vegetarian wraps, mixed vegetables, yogurt, fresh mint
Jacket potatoes, with an option of Cheese and Coleslaw
Cocktail sausages
Mini Dexter burgers
Mixed bean salad
Mixed leaf salad
Potato salad


What we are raising money for 

A message from Damian and Vics:

All the staff at Addenbrooke’s work tirelessly to make what initially seemed like an impossible mountain to climb, more manageable.  They are all professional, kind and compassionate and have certainly made our journey less daunting.  So with this in mind we would like to give something back.  It may sound like a cliche, but these people are frankly our heroes- they are mending our little boy and for that we are eternally grateful- so cycle hard and please dig as deep as you can.  We never imagined as a family we would be in this position- but here we are- so any good that can come of it must be seized.  All  money raised will be passed directly to the oncology ward to benefit staff, families and children.

When will we see the difference?

The support and money raised will make a difference. It will make a difference to the ward C2 and will provide additional funds for the paediatric day unit. It will also be about raising the understanding and awareness of Leukemia and the work of the Addenbrooke’s hospital.

The Charity will be Addenbrooke’s Charity Trust with all the money being earmarked for the Children’s Oncology Wing (C2).


Fundraising / costs of entry

An unbelievable effort. At time of writing we have hit £30,000.00. We are now aiming for £32,500.00. This shows truly wonderful feedback for The Gobey’s.

To enter the ride it is £50 to participate;

-£50/adult & £10/child (wherever you start)

We of course would really appreciate additional support so;

-Donations – yes please
-Fundraising – yes please


Please donate here


More details will follow weekly.

Thank you everyone for your support.

The Gobey Challenge Support Team