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NRC forms Allied Force for D-Day Rides

Thirteen riders from Newbury Road Club joined three from Newbury Velo and many others to form an Allied Force to visit Normandy and pay respect in this significant D-Day 80th Anniversary year.

This trip was inspired by the New Life Special Care Babies Charity which is dedicated to raising money for special care baby units across the UK.  Founder Trevor Goodall set it up in 1995 in memory of his sons Joshua and Samuel who were born three months early and sadly both died after only one week.  Their struggle inspired Trevor to do something and the charity has been a huge success raising over £1M by 2021.

Together with a fantastic team of organisers, including NRC’s Jan Raymond, the group of 35 travelled on an overnight ferry from Portsmouth on Thursday and arrived in Caen for an early morning start, heading off the ferry to take on routes prepared by Ashish Naik from Newbury Velo.

The first stop was Pegasus Bridge with time to get up close to one of the gliders.  The route then travelled via Batterie de Merville, Sword Beach, Juno Beach, American Cemetery and Overlord Museum, Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc. 

Saturday’s route took in Memorial Filthy Thirteen, Utah Beach, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Carentan and La Cambe Cemetery.  Sunday’s first stop was Bayeux then on to Longues-Sur-Mer-Battery, Arromanches followed by the British Memorial.

There was time to stop off at each point to reflect on the fierce battles and huge sacrifice of life. Of the many stops, all were deeply moving and beautifully cared for.  There was never a gardener in sight and yet each of the American, German and British cemeteries visited were immaculate.  The museums were remarkable, each recreating events as close as possible to reality.  At one point a dark room became the inside of a plane full of paratroopers loaded with full kit in preparation for launch.  The sound effects captured the drone of the engines and quietly muffled conversations of the flight crew and passengers – we were suddenly on board!

One can never really know what it was like, however each site captured such significant events in our history - everyone should make time to go and visit.

Whilst there were a lot of sombre moments and quiet reflection during the trip, riders formed groups to travel together making new friends along the way.

Trevor and organiser Lloyd Lilley were never far away with a van loaded with snacks and supplies and no shortage of encouragement along the way.   There were some personal achievements in the group with some having never ridden 60 miles in a day and yet they took on all three days brilliantly, before arriving back to Caen for the ferry on Sunday evening.

The trip raised over £20,000 for The New Life Special Care Babies Charity to add to the great work already undertaken. 

You can donate to New Life Special Care Babies Charity here 


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