A three-man team of cyclists from a leading food supplier are aiming to deliver the goods for a grocery charity when they tackle a gruelling three-day cycle ride from Caernarfon to Cardiff.
Harlech Foodservice Managing Director David Cattrall and colleagues David Roberts and Ben Calley are aiming to raise over £6,000 in the 230-mile Grocery Aid Coast to Coast Ride in July.
It will see them tackle some of the steepest and most scenic roads in Wales in aid of Grocery Aid which looks after front line food and catering staff in their hour of need from manufacturing through supply chain companies like Harlech to caterers and retailers.
The testing route will take them through Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, climbing over 18,000 feet, the equivalent of going up Snowdon five times.
All three are keen cyclists but are putting in plenty of training to make sure they’ve got the miles in their legs before they cross the start line on Thursday, July 21, in Caernarfon.
That first day will see them cover 88 miles to Aberystwyth for an overnight stop before heading off to Brecon on day two with the third leg to Cardiff on day three, cycling over 70 miles on each of the last two days.
David Cattrall said: “I have done the Grocery Aid ride before and I enjoy cycling but I need to get some serious work in over the next few weeks to make sure I’m ready for the challenge.
“Three days back-to-back tackling those kinds of climbs is something you have to be ready for because there are four big hills each day along the way and we’re talking 500-metre climbs and even in July you can never tell what the weather is going to be like.
“This is an important charity for us though and never more so than now because our sector has been very hard hit during the pandemic.
“Many people have experienced hard times and this charity helps literally hundreds of people every year, many of them on minimum wage.
“As a North Wales-based company the route is going from our heartland to the capital where we are now winning contracts and where our delivery lorries are becoming an increasingly frequent sight.”
David Roberts, Harlech’s Key Account Manager for Education, is a keen cyclist who was inspired to take up the sport by watching American star Greg Lemond win the Tour De France back in the Eighties.
He said: “He won it by eight seconds in an amazing finish and that got me hooked and I still ride a couple of times a week but I’ve always been a keen cyclist.
“It will be a great experience to ride through Wales and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The third member of the team is butchery manager Ben Calley, from Llanfair PG, on Anglesey, whose first love is mountain biking although he also enjoys riding on the roads.
He said: “I’ve been keen on bikes since I was 15 but I’ve only just got into road cycling.
“We just thought this was a great challenge to take on and a wonderful charity to support, one that‘s very close to our hearts in the food industry.”
Harlech Foodservices has bases at Criccieth, in Gwynedd, and Chester and between the two locations, the company employs around 200 staff and runs a fleet of vehicles to deliver up to 5,000 product lines to cafés, restaurants, pubs and public sector customers across North and Mid-Wales, Shropshire, the Midlands and the North West.
For more on Harlech Foodservices go to https://www.harlech.co.uk/