My family and I had been holidaying in Sidari Corfu for a few years when I started thinking about giving something back to the hardworking locals.
I was seeing lots of posts on line raising money for the local animal charities, but I wanted to help the people on the island. During one of our holidays, a local lady started to talk about the local children’s home in Magoulades and so the North Corfu Children’s home fundraiser was born.
As I’d just completed a sponsored cycle ride for fibromyalgia, I looked at the possibility of doing something in Corfu, I discovered S-bikes cycle Corfu and arranged the bike.
I knew I wanted to raise as much for the home as possible so I contacted local businesses for donations (meals, trips, crafts) anything we could raffle off / sell and then give the money to the home, these items were then put on the Corfu Facebook holiday forums and together with sponsorship for the ride and donations I was able to acquire through my place of work via Nikon, Ricoh and Celestron we were able to raise a decent amount.
I have now completed three sponsored cycle rides for the children’s home. Cycling from Sidari to Mount Pantokrator (the highest mountain on Corfu) was my first challenge. This was made more so by me damaging my shoulder during a cycling accident five weeks before the ride.
Despite not being able to cycle due to my injuries until the day of the ride, I made this painful but fulfilling trip witnessing the wonderful scenery during the ride up from Acharavi and down the other side.
We visited the home with 1500 euros in cash and £300 worth of clothes, trainers and toys. The children were friendly, and it was encouraging to see the warm environment of the home, the children were obviously being helped and supported.
The visit inspired me to carry on and around the island in a day cycle ride was born for the following year.
My second ride raising 1299 euros for the home took me anti clockwise from Sidari around the Island travelling through the picturesque island I went though Makrades, Bella Vista and Paleokastritsa, travelling down to Kavos which seemed to have the most hotels closed due to the first Covid year.
I was struggling a little in the 35degree plus heat, but remembering the children at the home gave me the push to carry on. Petrol stations were my savour that year, I stopped by many to buy water and stay hydrated.
I travelled back up to Messonghi and put my burning feet into the water at the harbour to refresh them before getting back on the bike travelling through Benitses and the stunning causeway at Kanoni, through Corfu town, Ipsos, and up around the stunning and mountainous Northeast coast back to Sidari.
The third ride
My third ride raising 2035 euros for the home was to be a 200KM ride- I went from Sidari through Roda, up the stunning scenic roads to Sokraki and down the Sokraki switchbacks, continuing down to the south-east side, I cycled up to the stunning viewpoint of Kaisers throne to see the 360-degree view, continuing down to the port at Lefkimmi watching the ferry dock, over to Kavos and back up to Messonghi, Kanoni, Corfu town, and up to Ipsos.
I had to dig deep in this last mountainous section, going across to Pyrgi and Ano Korakiana and then the Troubeta accent. I paused here for a drink and a rest as I knowing it was mostly downhill from here. The light was fading, so I continued and pushed back to Sidari down the fast-winding road.
ended up cycling 226Km on this ride during the heatwave in August with temperatures around the 45-degree mark, but felt much better that the other two as I had prepared myself.
In 2022 I am planning a Mountain bike sponsored cycle taking in some scenery I was not able to on the previous rides.
At around 100Km I aim to visit Agios Simeon which is only accessible by hiking or on a mountain bike, as well as a few other remote places.
Please visit my Facebook fundraising page if you can help – North Corfu Children’s home fundraiser,
In short, if you want to have more information or contribute to this initiative, take a look at North Corfu Childrens Home Fundraiser Facebook
However, if you want to know more about the culture or art of other places, look at our Blog.
Author: Neil Evans (North Corfu Childrens Home Fundraiser Facebook)