Intrepid cyclists smash 1,207-mile challenge

Worthing mayor Alex Harman sets Spencer Hodge, left, and Daniel Clark off on their Worthing to Alicante bike ride. Photo by Derek Martin DM17735788a
Worthing mayor Alex Harman sets Spencer Hodge, left, and Daniel Clark off on their Worthing to Alicante bike ride. Photo by Derek Martin DM17735788a

Proud, heightened, tired and excited are just some of the words two intrepid cyclists have found to describe their incredible journey from Worthing to Alicante by bike.

Friends Spencer Hodge and Daniel Clark made the 1,207-mile journey to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

A welcome back congratulation poster made by Peter Pollack

A welcome back congratulation poster made by Peter Pollack

It was a spontaneous idea to help Spencer celebrate his 23rd birthday by combining their sense of adventure and their hobby.

Spencer said: “With the Spanish flags around our necks, we zoomed into the marina and yes, the finish line.

“I’m not sure if we will ever be able to put into words how we are feeling, so many emotions running through us right now.”

They were given a fantastic send off from the Rose and Crown pub on Wednesday, July 19, and arrived in Alicante on Wednesday, 14 days later. Then it will be back to the Rose and Crown on Sunday for a welcome home celebration.

Along the way, they faced highs and lows and met some amazing people.

On the final day, they thought it was all over when each faced damage to their bikes.

First, Daniel crashed into a rock on the side of the road, breaking a spoke and causing a puncture.

With the bike patched up, they set off again but then Spencer hit something on the side of the ride while approaching Moraira at high speed.

He lost his balance and crashed into the road, leaving his leg bruised and cut but not enough to stop them.

Next, with just 35 miles to go, Spencer’s wheel gave way on the approach to Benidorm.

He said: “Ten spokes broken. The ride was in jeopardy. It was unrideable that far it was just not possible. Sat on the side of the dual carriageway deflated.”

Another cyclist, who was riding 5,000km from Italy to Portugal and back round Spain in two months, stopped to offer support.

Friend Nicky Bleakley, who taught Spencer how to cycle when he was ten, and husband Mike, who had met the pair back in Favela that morning, came to the rescue, driving from Moraira to Benidorm with a spare wheel.

“I cannot thank them enough. We were back. Delayed but back,” said Spencer.

“The last 35km, hill after hill after hill, the adrenaline pumping us through, and there, finally in the distance, Alicante. We zoomed in straight into the marina and there was the finish line. Champions!”

The Worthing to Alicante ride as so far raised around £2,300. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clarkhodgechallenge to make a donation.