Day 5 Report – Ride4Peace – 4th June 2014- Manchester to Birmingham
Day 5 began in Darul Amaan with Fajr Namaz at 3.45 followed by breakfast consisting of omelettes, boiled eggs, toast, cereals, tea and coffee. The riders were asked not to rest after Fajr and be ready to leave between 6.30am and 7 am as they had 100 miles of cycling ahead of them.
Although the cyclists left in very overcast and wet conditions, as they entered the Peak District near Macclesfield the weather changed and were left with beautiful sunshine and blue skies for the rest of the day. The morning consisted of a gruelling 50 mile ride across the southern section of the Peak District, involving more than 4000 feet of climbing and a deadline of 1.30pm to get to Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
Again the group was split in to 2 and the first group of 4 riders left 15 minutes earlier than the main group to act as a contingency for the media commitments. The first group had some small mechanical issues needing attention along the way and were caught up by the second group, afterwards the two groups rode together. Alhamdulillah the cyclists enjoyed the spectacular scenery and challenging ride together and were able to arrive at Ashbourne on time.
The riders arrived outside the British Heart Foundation for photographs and interviews by the Ashbourne Telegraph. The group then had lunch consisting of chicken sandwiches, fruit and then offered Zuhr & Asr in congregation in a park in the town centre.
After a 90 minute break the riders left at 3.30pm and made excellent progress covering the remaining 50 miles and reaching Darul Barakaat Mosque at 8.30pm. The riders were greeted by Regional Amir Sahib, Jama’at Presidents, local Qaideen and various others. After some photos and a short break, the group were introduced to Steve Mcabe MP, Member of Parliament for Solihull, Jagjit Singh Taunque Deputy Left-tenant to the Queen for the West Midlands and Mrs Satinder Kaur Taunque OBE, Deputy Left-tenant to the Queen for the West Midlands, who, after recitation from the Holy Qur’an, all passed on well wishes to the team. Dr Hammad Khan also gave a short introduction to the Ride4Peace and the Ahmadiyya Jama’at. Photographs were then taken outside the mosque, followed by dinner consisting of rice, lamb curry, roast chicken, fish, kebabs, chips, samosas, salad and firnee.
Maghrib and Ishaa prayers were then offered at 10pm, bringing an end to the day.
Day 4 report Ride4Peace – 4th June 2014- Bradford to Sheffield to Manchester.
Day four began with Fajr salat at 3:45. This was followed by breakfast consisting of weetabix, oats, bread, jam, butter, honey and tea and coffee.
With a day of hard riding ahead, a growing number of media commitments booked by our press teams and in accordance with the instructions of Huzoor Aqdas (ayyadahu Allah ta’ala bi-nasrihi al-’aziz) , the group of riders was split into two. The wisdom behind this decision was clearly evident as Alhamdolillah both groups were able to simultaneously meet multiple media interviews and meetings with dignitaries along the way. The front riders group left early at 6:45 and made it’s way straight to Sheffield 50 miles away, first stopping at the BBC radio Sheffield studios to do a live interview in which all four riders took part, followed by a short journey to Baitul Afiyat in Sheffield.
The main riders group left Bradford at 7:30. They first visited the old mosque (Baitul Hamd) where the 1989 Centenary Ride started and the cyclists took photos in the same place where the original 1989 riders had their’s taken. The group then rode on to WW1 War Memorial in Bailiff Bridge, Halifax. Here the riders were welcomed by local dignitaries, local members of the jamaat and interviewed by the media (BBC & Halifax Courier). The riders then made their way to Baitul Tawheed Mosque in Huddersfield around 10:15 where they had a large reception with jamaat members, local dignitaries and were interviewed by Geo TV. Samosas and juice were offered. Members of the police and local non ahmadi riders (friends of the Jamaat) rode with the riders for around 5 miles. Then the riders visited Baitul Samad for photos before leaving for Baitul Afiyat in Sheffield where they joined the front riders group for lunch consisting of Beef-burger, grilled chicken and chips.
Throughout the morning, both groups of riders were treated to some spectacular scenery as they rode around 8 miles of the Tour de France route which had very challenging and exhilarating hills. Even the torrential downpours of rain could not take anything away from the enjoyment of the riders.
After lunch the riders offered Zohr and Asr prayers and were then driven over the Peak District because of the dangerous weather and road conditions. The riders got back on their cycles 10 miles outside Manchester and rode to Dar ul Amaan at 7:30 where they were received by dignitaries including the Mayor of Salford, Mayoress of Manchester and representatives of British Heart Foundation. This was the first event for the new Mayoress of Manchester and the last event for the Mayor of Salford before he retired.
Soon after the reception, dinner was offered consisting of rice, lentil curry and chicken pasta with kheer as the sweet dish. The day concluded with Maghreb and Isha prayers at 9:45 followed by some tea.
Day 3 – From Nasir Mosque in Hartepool to Al-Mahdi Mosque in Bradford – 3rd June 2014
Due to the incidents & eventualities of the day before it was decided that for safety reasons the Ahmadi cyclists were to be allowed to catch up on sleep. This meant that the total ride was shortened and cyclists were transported to the half-way stage in Ripon to start their cycle ride.
For breakfast the cyclists were served scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, muesli, toast with tea and coffee in breakfast which was at 9 am.
After media interviews, group photos and essential maintenance of bikes, the cyclists were transported in vans and cars to Ripon in West Yorskhire where they started their journey towards Bradford.
The cyclists rode to the British Heart Foundation shop in Ripon at 2.30 pm where they were treated to excellent snacks which included fruit, crisps and sandwiches. After a group photo the cyclists left Ripon towards Bradford.
The route in North & West Yorkshire was absolutely stunning with breathtaking views along with some brutal climbs, which made the cyclists have to work really hard. Climb after climb towards Otley was a delight as cyclists relished how much better they had become at climbing hills over the past few days.
Along the way bystanders waved and cheered the cyclists. It appeared that the local people knew about the Ride4Peace as one bystander remarked, “is this the group that is cycling from Glasgow?”
Just as the cyclists were tiring from the exhausting hill climbs, a well deserved refreshment stop was reached just outside Otley, which is 15 miles outside Bradford, near a Primary School called The Grammar School House in Farnley. When the Headteacher saw the cyclist/support vehicles and learned about the event from the Ahmadi Cyclists she spoke to, she happily offered her school as a rest facility and cyclists were able to perform their ablutions & offer their Zuhr and Asr prayers. The cyclists thanked the Headteacher who was delighted to learn about Ahmadi Muslims cycling for peace and said she will definitely tell her students about the Ride4Peace. She also sponsored the ride by taking a Justgiving list and making an online donation.
The cyclists reached Al-Mahdi Mosque at 8.45 pm and were greeted by the local and regional Jamaat members. The cyclists were absolutely delighted with the dinner after their tiresome hill climbs. They were served with lamb chops, roasted chicken, fried fish, rice, chicken curry and naan bread.
In summary, the cyclists rode a total of 35 miles and climbed 3,270 feet on their journey from Ripon to Bradford.
Ride4Peace Day 2 – Monday 2nd June 2014 – Hawick to Hartlepool
The cyclists woke up in the Elm House hotel in Hawick at 4 am to offer Fajr and then had breakfast with Oats, Weetabix, Milk, Coffee, Jam, and Toast.
The cyclists had a short nap after breakfast and then got ready to leave. The cyclist left Hawick at 9 am for Hartlepool via Newcastle. This was the second day in which the Ahmadi cyclists were to ride around a 100 miles. Initially all cyclist felt very tired but after riding an hour or so they seemed to find their strength to go the distance.
The route took the cyclists through Northumberland National Park which was absolutely beautiful with breathtaking vistas near Kielder Water.
There were three incidents during the ride. One cyclist missed a turning and got separated from the group. When the main group realised the cyclist was missing, the van was sent to pick him up from a nearby town.
Another cyclist fell from his bike and had a sprain in his ankle. He was rested for the rest of the day and his bike loaded onto the bike rack on the car.
One cyclist slipped on a turning in the road and fell on his elbow. His helmet saved him from a head injury but his left arm was badly hurt. He was immediately assessed by 2 doctors: Dr Daud Chou & Dr Hammad Khan, who was an orthopaedic surgeon. Considering the injuries, the cyclist was then taken in one of the support vehicles to hospital for assessment & treatment. Later his injury was diagnosed as a fractured elbow and has returned home with a cast on his arm.
It started raining in later part of the day and the cyclists rode more carefully in the wet.
The cyclist arrived in Newcastle (80 miles from Hawick) at around 6 pm and met the local members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The cyclists were escorted to British Heart Foundation shop in Newcastle city centre where they had some photos taken and nibbled on the refreshments provided by the British Heart Foundation.
The cyclists then left for Hartlepool which was another 30 miles from Newcastle. However, after 10 miles it was clear that the light was fading fast and with overcast conditions it was not safe to ride on unlit roads with more than 20 cyclists. Therefore for safety reasons, the ride was stopped 20 miles outside Hartlepool and the cyclists were ferried to Nasir Mosque in Hartlepool using vans and cars provided by Hartlepool Jamaat.
When the cyclist arrived in Nasir Mosque, Hartlepool mosque at around 10 pm, they were welcomed by local members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and its regional President.
Dinner was composed of Chapli kebabs, Fish & Chips which the cyclists thoroughly enjoyed. After offering Maghrib and Isha prayers the cyclists went to sleep.
Ride4Peace Report Day 1 -1st June 2014
Report by Shahzaib Ahmad and Tauseef Khan
A total of 22 cyclists woke up around 3:30 to offer Fajr Salaat. This was followed immediately with breakfast in which porridge, oats, eggs, bread, honey and butter were served alongside tea and coffee, ensuring all cyclists were fully loaded with carbohydrates prior to starting.
Preparations to leave began around 6:30; all cyclists had water bottles filled with water, electrolytes and glucose solution to provide energy and prevent cramps. In addition, everyone was provided with energy bars.
Ameer Sahib UK saw the cyclists off around 7:20. The cyclists were accompanied by 2 support cars and one van which had lunch and food supplies. The cyclists formed a peloton between the two cars.
During the cycle ride, cyclists were continuously reminded to eat and drink to prevent tiredness and muscle cramps. The first break was at 20 miles, where all the water bottles were refilled, and energy bars restocked. At each break, cyclists were advised to eat bananas and dates. The second break took place at the 40 mile mark, where the same process was repeated. The third break was at 60 miles where everyone had lunch with chicken and mayonnaise sandwiches and combined Zohr and Asr prayers were offered, led by Missionary Attaur Rahman Khalid, who is also an accomplished cyclist.
The final break was at 80 miles where the cyclists stocked up on water, electrolytes and energy bars for the last time during the day. During the ride, there were some sensational views and everybody commented on the beautiful scenery of the countryside in Scotland.
The words Alhamdulillah and Allah O Akbar were repeatedly heard throughout the journey, as the cyclists enjoyed the bounty of the Almighty Allah.
After exactly 102 miles, the cyclists reached Hawick (on the borders of Scotland) to a hotel around 7:30 pm and enjoyed dinners consisting of Lasagne, beef pie, chicken goujons or fish and chips.
Alhamdulillah everybody enjoyed the dinner. All the cyclists were very happy but a little tired. Prayers are requested for their safe journey back home to London.