Somerset farmer raises £24,000 for RABI with 3,000-mile cycle

A Somerset farmer who made it his mission this summer to cycle 3,000 miles across Canada in just 30 days, has so far raised more than £24,000 for the charity.

Nick Bragg, of Frogmary Green Farm, chose to carry out the feat for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

The RABI offers support and advice when farmers’ finances are affected by unpredictable circumstances.

Every year, the RABI gives out roughly £2 million in grants and supports approximately 2,000 farming individuals and families.

Nick and his trusty bicycle made it across three time zones and four provinces, through the mountainous terrain of the Rockies, and finally finished at the Inukshuk monument on the Vancouver waterfront.

He was accompanied by his wife, Claire, and siblings Ashley and Adele Martin. Ashley joined Nick at the start of the challenge for three weeks until Adele tagged in to tackle the Rockies.

Nick spent a total of 211 total hours on his bike to get across Canada’s four provinces, consuming an average of 4,000 calories a day.

The feat took 16 months of planning and training.

Back home in the UK, Frogmary held a range of fabulous events this year to support Nick’s Cycling Challenge, including a Great British Beef Week Charity Supper and a Pig Racing Night with Crewkerne Young Farmers.

Despite getting slightly lost, Nick and Ashley set off from Montreal Olympic Stadium on June 21. They faced strong headwinds for most of the journey and temperatures soared to 30°C.

While they travelled through the Canadian National Parks and along the banks of Lake Superior, Nick made sure to stop and enjoy the stunning scenery around him.

They spotted a variety of wildlife along the way, including a wild Moose and her calves, Forest Foxes, Porcupines, Armadillos, Chinchillas, Turkeys, Bald Eagles and lots of roadkill.

Nick even had a close encounter with a bear sunning itself around 15ft away. He explained that as he fumbled for his camera – whilst mentally preparing himself to flee – he forgot to unclip his foot and promptly fell off his bike. Fortunately, the bear wasn’t looking for lunch.

The last 1000 miles saw them take on the Rocky Mountains. On their steepest day, the team faced a 3,982ft climb to the Bombi summit and then a 5,036ft climb to Paylson summit, meaning they had climbed a total of 9,018ft.

On day 30, Nick and Adele triumphantly arrived at the Inukshuk monument in English bay on the Vancouver Waterfront.

Mental and physical pain is overwhelming but mine is short-lived. This is what the challenge was all about – helping and supporting those with real pain – to face and overcome their challenges.

“The challenge has had an amazing impact on my life. I’ve become fitter and more committed to fitness. I’ve been given a chance to have a different outlook on life by getting away from the farming business,” Nick said.

“I have been immensely grateful and lucky for the support from Claire my wife and to all our fantastic staff – thank you all so much.”

Donations can be made to Nick’s Cycling Challenge here.