15 beaches, 2 pedals, 1 day. Andy Bramwell is getting on his bike to raise money for Surfers Against Sewage with a unique fundraising challenge… Below Andy explains exactly what the challenge will entail and the motivation behind it.
All we can say is, bloody good effort Andy! If the title alone is compelling enough to convince you to put your hand in your pocket you can make a donation here, through Just Giving. If you need some more convincing there’s another link further down the page! Over to you Andy:
In 2015 I moved back to North Devon after spending a season working on the Welsh nature reserve of Skomer Island. I’d spent the winter logging many hours behind the wheel driving to Portugal and back. Fed up of the car, and having had no need for one on Skomer, I dusted off my old mountain bike and bought a surfboard rack. Free parking was a motivator to me, but I was also keen to reduce the impact of my lifestyle – we’ve all had the days of checking 4 beaches, only to go back to the first we looked at.
During the summer of 2015 the beaches of Cornwall and Devon made the news several times. Not for record numbers of tourists, not for the beauty of their natural environments, and not because of the prowess of their local surfers. News report after news report showed raw sewage and other pollution being released into beaches enjoyed by millions of people, not just surfers.
Having become a member of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) more than ten years ago, I was pretty shocked to see our beaches being ruined in 2015 (although I did enjoy the thought that David Cameron had been bodyboarding through shit at Polzeath). Given the modern treatment technologies available, how is this still allowed to happen?
In spring this year pink bottles started washing up all over Cornwall and Devon, and they made me realise that perhaps I could combine my new found enjoyment of cycling, and surfing, to raise some money to help the SAS, the guardians of our coast.
I’ve always been a fan of SAS and their no-holds barred campaigns (who else would turn up to the Houses of Parliament with an inflatable turd!). Surfing brings in around £34 million to the Cornish economy alone, all based around the stunning beaches and coast. How on earth in 2016 is South West Water allowed to put this cash cow at risk? The SAS have been campaigning for sewage free seas for years, with some success, but it’s clear that more needs to done. They need a louder voice, and that costs.
To raise money for SAS I am going to try to surf 15 or more beaches, travelling between them by bike, in one day.
I’ll have my surfboard in a rack on my bike and will be paddling out at the beaches to catch waves too. At each beach I have to paddle out and surf at least one wave, riding the green face. If I can fit in some turns then all the better! Let’s hope the surf isn’t perfect or it’ll be hard to get back on the bike!
The challenge will take place along the north coast of Cornwall between Harlyn Bay and Portreath or maybe even Godrevy on the first or second Saturday of July, 2016. I’ve built in a bit of flexibility so there are some waves to surf. The cycling element will cover over 40 miles but there’s lots and lots of hills, and long walks to some beaches.
You can show your support for SAS, and force me to tackle those hills and paddles, by donating through Just Giving or you can text SURF66 £3 to 70070.
Still need motivation? Just imagine turning up super excited for a surf at your favourite beach, only to find it closed due to a completely preventable sewage flow. Your money will help SAS campaign for the clean seas we deserve.