Our Sunderland branch takes on the Coast-To-Coast

 Assistant branch manager, Mick Dreyer discusses the fun-filled three day trip

I am coming up to my 10th anniversary at Park’s Sunderland branch and in recent years I have enjoyed unleashing my passion for cycling onto the team via various cycle rides. We have raised money for Wearside-based charities over the years, such as the neonatal unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital through our cycle tours.

Cycling is a great passion of mine and it is always good to get a group together whether this is work colleagues or friends and enjoy the great outdoors! During the August bank holiday weekend this year, myself and two colleagues, Glen Charman and Tony Gutcher along with some of my friends, cycled the coast-to-coast route across three days. We were accompanied by two support staff.

Thankfully, there were no punctures and a highlight to end a tiring day of cycling was the enjoyment of a pint or two and a good sing-song on the karaoke on one particular night! To a few of the group, the route was very tough having not really trained for the terrain and with the infamous hills of Garrigal, Crawleyside and Nenthead to contend with the camaraderie became crucial. As did the need for refuelling, you can’t cycle 50-plus miles per day on a light stomach!

I have now turned my attention to the next event…the coast-and-castles cycle route which will see some of us travel down from Edinburgh to Sunderland over another three day period. It is a chance for colleagues to get on-board, enjoy the fresh air and fantastic North East iconic landmarks such Bamburgh and Warkworth castles and also enjoy socialising and cementing friendships away from the workplace!