Taylan's Project - Helping to fund the fight against brain tumours
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700 miles in 7 days!




Well, we did it! 745 miles cycled in 7 days, between the seven main brain tumour research centres, from Glasgow to Portsmouth via Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol and Fulham! Over 10,400m of climbing, and the team only suffered 4 punctures and a couple of minor mechanical problems. Just the one crash, into an unforgiving hedgerow (thankfully it was not serious and the main injury was a bruised ego).

The hours and miles of training that we had all done individually paid off as our core level of fitness saw us clock off the miles each day. The poor weather and hills we experienced made the ride challenging however, our team spirit kept us going during difficult times.

Our goal of raising money and increasing awareness for brain tumours was always at the forefront of our minds as we passed through towns and villages with our message, collecting money along the way from very generous people.  With your kind donations and sponsorship, we have managed to collectively raise over £13,500 and thankfully the donations are still being received.  We've been delighted at the media coverage we also gained, further raising the profile of the lack of research funding. Big respect to Professor Geoff Pilkington and his staff at Portsmouth - they have brains the size of planets and hearts of gold.

Thanks to Michael Owen, Peter Buckley, James Noble, Richard Willis, Rob Blackler and Clayton Vaughan for joining the five of us on various legs of the journey and raising lots of money, to 'CJ' Smith for taking a week off work to drive the support van and for looking after us, a big thank you to those that turned up at different stops to meet us and those who were at the finish line in Portsmouth. Kaya, Altay and Taylor joined their dads for part of the final leg into Portsmouth - awesome riding, guys! 

We would also like to thank Jon Hill and all at 1Spatial for providing the live tracking throughout the entire journey, Wagamama for looking after us and making sure we were fed and watered in the evenings, Eat Natural, Lucozade Sport, Strathmore Water, Fabulous Bakin’ boys and Zico Coconut Water for providing our energy intake during the day.  Holiday Inn Express, Ibis Hotels, Dakota Group, and Arnos Manor for providing our accommodation in the evenings, Trinity Protection Systems, for their very generous donation towards fuel and other costs, last but not least to Burnt Tree Group Coventry for supplying our transport for the challenge.

We are doing remarkably well, with no after-effects other than going cold turkey coming off the energy gels... The journey has been a great leveller for us all and we've been privileged to have ridden with such a great bunch of people, including Tristan, whom has now qualified for Team GB in the Triathlon World's in NZ in a couple of months. Good luck Trist!

We will continue to work in Taylan’s memory through various events and activities to improve the quality of life for brain tumour sufferers and aid better treatments in the future, so conversations are already underway for a more difficult and challenging ride in 2014! Watch this space!

Together we can make a difference and give hope to the thousands of people diagnosed with a brain tumour each year and their families.

Thank you all once again for all your support.



Arrived in Glasgow safely - 24th August 2012

The 700 miles 7 days cyclists and team have arrived in Glasgow safe and sound and tucking into some food! Thank you to Wagamama Silverburn in Glasgow for feeding them tonight and to Dakota Glasgow Hotel for the accommodation.

Thank you also to all of you who have been sending their best wishes and donations.  The continued support will keep them going on what is going to be a tough challenge. Don't forget to check back regularly for updates and remember to live track them courtesy of 1Spatial.


Day 1 - 25th August 2012

The team arrived safe and sound in Carlisle completing their 1st day.  They cycled 102.1 miles averaging 17 mph in 6 hours 13mins burning 5478 kcal which equates to 10 burgers!!

A bite to eat (but not 10 burgers) then back to the Swallow Hotel in Carlisle for a good nights sleep before doing it all again tomorrow! They will be joined by Micky Owen tomorrow as they travel from Carlisle to Darlington, via Northern Institute of Cancer Research - University of Newcastle.

It is also 3 years tomorrow since Taylan's funeral so it is going to be a tough day for Andy emotionally.  Thankfully the team around him are extremely supportive which will help him and we wish them all good luck for tomorrow.


Day 2 - 26th August 2012

The tracker device decided to not work today after 78 miles but hopefully it will be up and running again as usual tomorrow, so unfortunately not much statistics available, nor can we tell you how many burgers or calories they have burned but the lads completed 109.3 miles and climbed over 1829m.

It has been extremely challenging today as the terrain has been tough and even the support vehicle has struggled to get through and up some places. Some quotes from the lads today 'my backside is ruined'! 'that's not a hill that's a cliff'! 'that was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do in my life'!

Thank you to Micky Owen for joining the lads today. Tomorrow they will be joined by Peter Buckley travelling from Darlington to Chesterfield via Leeds Institute for Molecular Medicine - University of Leeds covering approximately 105 miles.

Please please support the lads by donating on their Justgiving page or Text PEDL57 to 70070 and donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10


Day 3 - 27th August 2012

Thank you to Lyn and family for making sure the lads went off safe today.  It has been extremely difficult mentally, physically and emotionaly for the 700 miles 7 days cyclists and team.  108 miles in 8 hours, climbing 2135 metres in very wet and windy conditions.

They were cold, tired and very wet but meeting some amazing people on the way has kept them going.  They met an elderly man on a motorised wheelchair at the Leeds Institute for Molecular Medicine and he asked them had they gone far.  They explained what they were doing and why and he donated £10!  This is just one of the amazing people they have met along the journey.

They arrived at the Ibis Hotel - Chesterfield tonight at 7.40pm only to be greeted by Pete, Abigail & little Sophie from Sophie's Wish.  They are an extremely courageous and wonderful family helping to raise awareness and fund research for brain tumours.  Sophie's Wish is an Umbrella Group of Brain Tumour Research like us and based in the North and have been blessed with little Sophie.  Please visit Sophie's Wish to find out more.  The lads were extremely appreciative for their visit and said that seeing Sophie has really spurred them on even more to complete the challenge.

Thank you to Ibis Hotel  - Chesterfield for putting the lads up for the night and keeping them fed and watered. Tomorrow it is on to Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre University of Nottingham where they will be met by Pf. David Walker and then head in to Calvert for a good nights sleep at home and re-fuel for the remainder of the challenge.  The team also plan to visit Taylan at the cemetery before completing their 108 mile journey.

If anyone would like to greet the lads and live in the Calvert area, please keep track of their route tomorrow but they are expected to be in by approx. 6pm.  They will then leave on Wednesday morning at 9am if you wish to see them off and they will be joined by Richard Willis and James Noble for 2 days!


Day 4 - 28th August 2012

A very quick update tonight as it has been a busy day!

The cyclists got into Calvert at 6.15pm this evening and had a few people waiting for them to congratulate them on completing half of their challenge.  They all looked very well and were in good spirit.

112 miles today averaging 15mph which is not bad given all the city centres they had to go through and deal with a few bike repairs along the way.

Tomorrow they will leave Calvert at 9am and head to Bristol Frenchay Hospital.  Richard Willis and James Noble will be joining them for the next 2 days and we wish them all the best of luck!  Over 400 miles (643km) done, 300 miles (482km) to go!


Day 5 - 29th August 2012

What a day!  Horrendous rain, wind and anything else nature could throw at the 700 miles 7 days team! They made good progress despite the setbacks and stopped off at the Ragged Cott Pub in Stroud to dry off a little and have a warm drink.  The staff were very helpful and kind to them all and also made a donation so thank you!

103 miles and 900 metres climbed arriving at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol at 6pm then shortly after at the Arnos Manor Hotel. 

Although the ride is complete at the end of the day, the cyclists still have to check their bikes, deal with repairs, get themselves sorted as well as clothing, make sure the route is correct, eat, sleep and clean the bikes all ready for the next day so still lots to do.

8 year old Jessica Smith wrote a piece on how she feels and read it out this morning to the cyclist before they set off. Just shows how events in life can affect young, pure and innocent children when they lose a friend. It made us all cry this morning.

The Story of Taylan 

Once upon a time there was a lovely boy called Taylan.  Taylan was known as a handsome, loyal, friendly boy. 

Sadly Taylan died but we know that we can fight against those brain tumours!  Those people out there need our help.  So please raise some money for brain tumours!

Thank you Jess, we are so proud of you and so would Taylan be.x

Please tune in to Mix96 on 96.2fm tomorrow to listen to an interview with Andy.

Thank you to Arnos Manor Hotel for putting the lads up for the night and also to Charlie and the team at Wagamama - Bristol for feeding the lads.  They really appreciate it.

Bristol to Slough tomorrow!

If anyone would like to welcome the team in at Portsmouth on their final day on Friday 31st August, their estimated arrival time is approximately 5pm but please do live track them.

The address is:

Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology Research Group, University of Portsmouth, St. Michaels Building, White Swan Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2DT


Day 6 - 30th August 2012

Finished Day 6 of the 700 miles 7 days challenge cycling 104.5 miles in 6hours 54mins! The weather was good today thankfully but the lads struggled with the first 50 miles saying they had nothing left in them. 
They then picked up and flew through the last 54 miles and caught up with themselves making good time.
Thank you so much to Richard Willis and James Noble for joining the team for 2 days and for supporting the other riders through the rough weather.
Last day tomorrow heading into London to Charing Cross Hospital and then on to the Cellular & Molecular Neuro-Oncology Research Group at the University of Portsmouth. They will be joined by Clayton Vaughan, Rob Blackler and Micky Owen on this final leg.  Taylor Dart (Taylan's friend and Phil's son), Kaya and Altay (Taylan's younger brothers) will also join the team towards the end.
Good luck everyone.  So proud of you all.x
Day 7 - 31st August 2012 - Final Day! 
The team finally made it rolling into Portsmouth with Taylan's younger brothers Kaya and Altay but also with his friend Taylor.  It was a very emotional
finish for the 700 miles 7 days team after they were greeted by many friends, family and Professor Geoff Pilkington with his amazing team at the University of Portsmouth’s Centre of Excellence.
The team are all now home and will be recovering over the weekend.  They said 'it has been an amazing 7 days for us all and we are all so pleased with what we have achieved.....and there is already talk of doing it again and further !!! We must be mad !'
Thank you all for your support.
You can still sponsor the team through their Justgiving page



A group of five riders will be embarking on a challenge to each cycle 700 miles (1126.5 km) in just 7 days.

The team consisting of Andy Rawlinson (Taylan’s father), Phil Dart, Pete Stratton, Ben Greenfield, Tristan Grigalis and Colin Smith as support, will be making the challenging journey and will also be joined by several friends who will be undertaking a “100 mile leg” at various stages.

The five riders, aged between 21 and 44, have never ridden together as a group before, and whilst none of them are novices, they all appreciate the size of the challenge that they are taking on.

They will be riding between the seven main universities that are carrying out vital brain tumour research at the end of August 2012.  The team hope to raise £10,000, but just as importantly, to further raise the profile of Brain Tumour Research’s national £7m ‘Centres of Hope’ fundraising campaign.

They will start their ride in Glasgow on Saturday 25th August, visiting Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol and London, before being met by Professor Geoff Pilkington at the University of Portsmouth’s Centre of Excellence, when they cross the finishing line on Friday 31st August.

Planning and training have been underway for several months already but there is still plenty to do. As Andy explains:

“We’ve plotted the journey, hopefully meticulously, in order to avoid busy roads but there’s no getting away from the fact that over the duration of the 700 miles, we’ll also have climbed a total of 6267 metres in height, the equivalent of riding three quarters the height of Mount Everest! Riding as a group will help, but we’re under no illusion that this is anything but a tough ask both physically and mentally. Some of our friends are turning out to ride with us on individual legs of the route and that’ll be a massive boost for us, and we’ll have a support vehicle following us, but we’re all determined that none of us will need it!”

Meet the Team

700_03.jpgName: Andy Rawlinson

Age: 40 just, so not the oldest in the team!

Married to Figen with three boys; Taylan (who would have been 10), Kaya 7 & Altay 5.

Background:   I have always been interested in most sports, focussing on Football and Cricket until my mid 20’s when injury forced early retirement. Taylan, Kaya and Altay have always kept me fit playing football with them wherever possible. It wasn’t until after Taylan passed away that I start cycling, Phil lent me his old bike and I found that it helped with my anger, frustration and gave me time to think. Since that time I have ridden regularly but this is by far the biggest challenge I have ever done. I am looking forward to it but with a degree of trepidation.


700_01.jpgName: Phil Dart

Age: 43 but not for long!

1 son, Taylor, aged 10

Background:   I have always loved both road biking and mountain biking (having completed the off-road Tour de Mont Blanc twice) but this will be my biggest challenge so far.  My son Taylor raised £3,000 for Taylan’s Project / Brain Tumour Research 2 years ago by cycling 50 miles when he was just 8, so I'm trying to beat his total!  This is such a great cause and very close to my heart.  I'm the token MAMIL on the team (Middle Aged Man In Lycra)!


700_02.jpgName: Pete Stratton

Age:  37

Married to Lucy, Dad to Max 5 and Johnny 4

Background:   Always loved anything with 2 wheels. Had to give up my motorbike when Max was born, so took up powering my own 2 wheels and discovered a love of cycling. When Andy suggested the challenge, I knew immediately it was something I wanted to do and a great way to help a much underfunded cause. Can't wait to do it!


700_05.jpgName: Ben Greenfield

Age: 21

Long term relationship

Background:   Been a sports fanatic since forever really, played football from 6 to 18, swam competitively since I was 10 and cycled mountain bikes since I was 8. I recently began road cycling in the last year so I am hoping I can keep up with the more experienced road cyclists on the adventure!  I believe this ride is a great opportunity to challenge myself and give support to a very worthwhile charity.


700_04.jpgName: Tristan Grigalis

Age: 21 (just)

Been with Rosie for four years.  No Children thanks very much!

Background:   Always been a huge sports enthusiast. Swimming since I was young along with rugby.  I started running in year 10 at house cross country. First ever race and came third :-). Cycling seemed the natural progression so that I could take up triathlon. It has been a huge part of my life for three or so years despite major setbacks. I'm now hoping to qualify and join the Great Britain team in Auckland, New Zealand at the World Championships in October.


700_06.jpgName: CJ Smith

Age: 30 ish!

Married to Julie, Father to Jessica 8 and Charlotte 5

Background:   I have always been a big sports enthusiast but unfortunately due to a current sports injury I can’t undertake this phenomenal challenge. However, as close family friends I had to do something so as wheelman I will be following and supporting  them during their challenge, general mechanic, official photographer, first aid (which we hope won’t be needed), keeping the team fed and watered and updating you all on their progress via Facebook and twitter, so make sure you follow.

Additional Team Members

700_09.jpgName: Michael Owen (aka Micky O)

Age: 38

Married to Bex with 1 daughter Yasmin and a little man Jayden born on 31st July 2012!

Background: Never have I been far away from doing something sporty throughout my lifetime however football has always been my main passion.  It was at Epsom & Ewell FC when me and Andy first met some 15 years ago and remained friends since. When Andy mentioned the challenge to me, I must be honest and say cycling didn’t exactly sit top of the pile however I am happy to be involved in such a great cause for a gorgeous little lad as Taylan was. Training so far is going as planned however I have only 100 miles to do compared to the rest of the Team....
Roll on Sunday 26th August!!


700_10.jpgName: Richard Willis

Age: 48 

Married to Helen. Dad to Josh (19) and Zac (10)

Background:   I have spent a lot of my adult life off road biking until 3 years ago when I was persuaded to take up road cycling. Haven't looked back since! Having stopped playing football due to injury, I took to endurance events (definite mid-life crisis!) such as triple marathons, long distance hill walking to team triathlons. But none of those compare to the challenge the team here are undertaking. Taylan was a good friend of Zac's and this is such a great cause that I had to take part, albeit just 2 days, to support the guys in reaching the fund raising target.


700_07.jpgName: James Noble

Age: 36

Married to Gina, 3 kiddies Oscar 5½ and Twins Harriet and Sebastian 4 years old

Background: As an avid sportsman I had the privilege to play International Rugby during my time at University. Unfortunately, with age not on my side and my career as a chiropractor not working with the little injuries that occur with contact sports, I had to find a new avenue to channel my energy. This was tricky but I finally dropped into triathlon. With 4 completed already this year and with two LONG COURSE (½ and Full Ironman) planned for 2013 along with a number of other long distance challenges (marathons etc.) I hope to achieve 10,000 self-propelled miles. What better way to start than with a couple of hundred miles cycling alongside the inspiration for the challenge the founders and supporters of Taylan’s Project.


700_11.jpgName: Pete Buckley

Age: 38 and feeling it!

Married to Jackie for 15 years with two girls, Amy 11 and Holly 8.

Background: Always been into sports and played football and golf from an early age. I still play football on a Saturday’s with kids half my age and as I’m nearing retirement I thought I needed something to keep me competitive and my weight down. Cycling is perfect and I’ve really got the bug! I’ve only been doing it for 9 months and this is a really daunting task (and I’m only doing the leg from Darlington to Chesterfield). I just hope I don’t slow the team down too much!


700_08.jpgName: Clayton Vaughan

Age: 35

Married to Charlotte and we have 5 children

Background: Have always enjoyed being active and keeping fit, where I have mainly focussed on Marshall Art Sports for fitness. I have wanted to challenge myself for a while and can think of no better cause than Taylan’s Project to support while challenging myself. I have only been riding since signing up for the challenge and am enjoying cycling whenever I can.  I will be joining the team on their last leg to Portsmouth.


Join the Team

If you would like to join the team to ride a 100 mile stage or more averaging 16 miles an hour, then please contact us.  All we ask in return is that you raise a minimum sponsorship for Taylan’s Project.


Please show your support and donate what you can on their Justgiving page Cycling for Taylan

Corporate Sponsorship

The team is seeking as many corporate sponsors as possible in order to ensure the logistics go smoothly so that they can concentrate on keeping those pedals turning. 

Any contribution that you feel your company can make, whether it be products to help with the massive calorie intake that they will need each day whilst cycling, or indeed a financial contribution, it would make a huge difference to what they are trying to achieve. We will happily display your company logo on our website and through our Facebook page and Twitter feeds.

They hope to attract as much media coverage as possible and will happily promote your brand as far as they are able to.

If you are able to help, then please contact us on 07974 438 395 or email us.

We would like to thank the following companies who have already helped us and contributed to the challenge. 


Social Media

The event will be covered on Facebook and you will also be able to follow their progress daily on Twitter as the challenge takes place.

Press & Media Enquiries

For any enquiries, please contact us using the email form.  We will respond as soon as possible.

Other Information

Please visit this page regularly to check on the teams progress.













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