Cuba Culture

Debbie Milne and the Charity Challenge bike ride across Cuba

Posted January 30, 2006 by publisher in Cuba Culture.

A WOMAN from Great Britain who embarked on a gruelling cycle ride across Cuba has caught the bug for fund-raising – and is now trying to help people who live on the Caribbean island.

Last year, Debbie Milne pedalled for 300 miles from the capital Havana to the city of Trinidad, raising �3,400 for Cancer Research UK.

The 29-year-old, who lives with her husband, Glen, in Martinsbridge, Parnwell, Peterborough, set herself the challenge after a close friend died from an undetected brain tumour.

She was delighted to complete her 10-day odyssey in November, but the experience left her wanting to do more for the Cuban people.

Debbie, an editorial assistant for Royal Horticultural Society magazine The Garden, said: “It was hard, but it gave me such a sense of achievement.

“We cycled anything from 40 to 75 miles a day and I never had to get off and push the bike.

“There were some very steep hills, and the feeling when I made it to the top was great.

She said Charity Challenge, the Cuban-based group which organised the ride, did a great job, but the bikes and equipment could do with replacing.

Now she has her sights set on helping the charity.

She said: “The organiser, Charity Challenge was brilliant. The bikes we rode were good makes, but they were old.

“We had a tour guide and a main cyclist, who had planned our routes, and a back-up team in case anything went wrong.

“It was like watching Formula 1 when they were fixing a problem ” they were so fast.

“Since I have been back, I have been approaching lots of bike companies asking if they can donate equipment, parts, clothes, or anything to help.”

Debbie said visiting the communist country had really opened her eyes.

She said: “You don’t realise how lucky you are. Everything is rationed over there.

“We didn’t know from day to day what our hotels would be like. Sometimes, if you had running water you were lucky.”

The group’s planned route across the isle also had to be altered, following the destruction wreaked by the hurricane season.

Owners of Bristow’s Cycle Shop, in Lincoln Road, Peterborough, have already donated equipment, but Debbie is keen to collect more.

• Anyone able to help with equipment for the charity should e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Adventures to help more than 550 good causes

CHARITY Challenge is an adventure company specialising exclusively in inspiring fund-raising expeditions.

It operates more than 100 challenges each year for about 2,000 UK people, and has, so far, raised about £15 million for more than 550 charities.

Expeditions include treks, mountain bike rides, mountain climbs, white water rafting, sailing, horse riding and community challenges.

The challenges take place everywhere from Africa and the Caribbean to Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.

They include four different difficulty levels to cater for all fitness levels.

• To find out more, call 020 8557 0000, or visit [url=][/url]

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