BBC Children in Need visited Shelsley on 14th November when the Rickshaw Challenge came through Worcestershire, into the Teme Valley and up the 1000 yard hill. Now in its eighth year, the Rickshaw Challenge was originally ridden by one of the hosts from The One Show, Matt Baker, pedalling the Rickshaw around the UK to help raise money for the BBC’s Charity, but in recent years children who've been assisted through the work of Children in Need have been aboard the three wheeler culminating in last year raising £5.8 million just from the Rickshaw Challenge.
2018 saw six riders share the time on the Rickshaw on a trip that started from Calais before riding through the Channel Tunnel to Ashford, Lingfield, Hook, Royal Wooton Bassett, Malvern, Telford, Chester and Manchester. Engineering from McLaren Automotive had designed the rickshaw to have adjustable seat and crank positions to ease the effort for the different riders.
The overnight stay before their visit to Shelsley was at Malvern where the briefing for the day ahead said, “You’ll either be going uphill or downhill. There are barely any flat roads tomorrow.” For the guys to have ridden up Ankerdine hill before they even got into the Teme Valley where Shelsley awaited brought a shake of the head by many at the sheer thought of such climbs in quick succession.
Upon arriving at Shelsley there was a break for the rider who came in while Kieran readied himself for the climb up Shelsley. Green light, a flag and live commentary set him off up the hill as Matt Baker and the two outriders remained by his side. Over 300 school children from Martley, Clifton-on-Teme, Suckley, Norton and Abberley screamed like a Beetles concert as Pudsey bear appeared (...as if by magic…) before getting a ride up the hill in Dave Nursey’s XK120 so he could feel the wind in his ears. The bear that is, not Dave.
With school children at the start, Triangle, Crossing and Bottom Ess, they followed Kieran up through the Esses with a fleet of followers as if he was the pied piper. A brilliant picture from John Charters shows him appearing from the corner with the finish line in sight.
Kieran established the very first rickshaw record of 13 minutes 19.6 seconds by the time he got to the top. It’s not easy to climb Shelsley on a bicycle that you can swing side to side when up on the pedals but even harder when you’re just pedalling away on a three wheeler that weighs 65kgs.
There was a smile on everyone’s face, young and old for something completely different at Shelsley. A huge thank you to Dave Ball, Sarah Browne and Lucy Hart who rallied all the kids together from the schools and Phil Nuthall for ‘finding’ the BBC when they were on the recce of the route. Thank you also to our loyal marshals who turned out in force while Paul and June Matty brought along their Lotuses to open the course. Even the Bromyard town crier was there too, Peder Neilsen. There was probably over a 600 people in total on a warm, sunny morning.