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tony owen and martin stachini are raising money for The Stable Family Home Trust

The big Pier to Pier Bike Ride

Event date: 25th July 2020

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Total raised so far

£2,115 by 77 supporters

+£353.75 Gift Aid

+£0 Offline donations

Our story

On the 25th July we're going to cycle from Brighton to Bournemouth Pier in a day, here's why:

The Stable Family Home Trust, is a registered charity established in 1980, who support adults with learning disabilities in Dorset & Hampshire to lead independent lives. Their aim as a charity is simply to enable the people they support to reach a point where they can live more independently and provide supported living homes and learning facilities for them to do so. This is their 40th Anniversary year and they rely on a substantial amount of fundraising income from their regular events, corporate donations, community groups and individuals throughout the year. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing loss of these funds and the temporary closure of their Aspire Day Services in Ringwood, is impacting them financially and this is a heartfelt plea for your help, giving you the opportunity to make a difference!

Thank you for checking out our page. Making a donation is fast, easy and secure thanks to Give as you Live Donate. They'll take your donation and pass it onto The Stable Family Home Trust.

Our updates

1 week ago

Job Done

Martin says: It’s now Monday morning two days after doing the Pier to Pier. A few people to thank. Firstly Nic Owen, the better half to Tony my cycling partner. Nic drove us in the van, which was our support vehicle, from home to get to the start at Brighton pier. Nic was on hand throughout the day with our additional food, drinks and any spare parts we may have needed. Big thank you Nic.

A massive thank you for all those that have supported us in the build-up. My friends at the Stables, the house staff and clients, Tracey Hickford and Teresa Hunt. Thank you all.

A special thank you to Tracey Hickford who provided the weather forecast for last Saturday… do not give up your day job Tracey, enough said.

We set off in howling wind and monsoon rain which stayed with us all the way. This came as a complete surprise to Tony and I as our forecaster (Tracey Hickford) had informed us the opposite. I had a mental picture in my head of gently cycling along the sea front in sunshine, calm sea and a light sea breeze keep us cool……Not to be.

The worst part of the ride was the last 30/40 miles or so over the New Forest, from Cadnam to Linwood and on to the pier in Bournemouth. The rain and wind really took it out on us. But the feeling of riding onto the Pier approach was epic. We did call in at The Stables where the Gym Tin were doing a live event for the clients. Totally unprepared we were invited to say a few words to the viewing masses. I was very aware of the great big puddles of rainwater we were creating on their exercise floor and mats. Sorry Gym Tin, you do a great job.

Tony and I had lots of opportunities to chat on the ride, normal sort of stuff about our pervious careers, people we know in common, the weather, the weather, the rain, the wind and how can we be in a headwind all the time? My most memorable comment was when we were about 40 miles in, I said, “I’m really enjoying this Tony” If looks could kill I would have died somewhere around Chichester. Tony did say to me around the same time “Next time you’ve got an idea, don’t speak to me” You do not mean that, do you Tony?

I’ve mentioned before that Tony is the experienced rider with all the gear and ideas, where I am your Team Lidl, not so much gear and no ideas. He has all the Gucci gear for the type of weather we were in, whereas I have one set of gear for all occasions. He stated at Bournemouth pier that his Gucci wet weather gear was just about at the point of failure. I quickly stated that I'll expect mine to fail very soon as well!!!

Right now, we have raised just under £2.500 which is awesome. When we came up with the thought of doing the ride, we quietly had a figure of £1000 in mind. Your generosity has blown that figure out of the ballpark. Thank you all, your donations will make a difference.

That’s it from me I’ll send this over to Tony for him to add his bit. By the way Tony I have got a big idea for a fund raiser, you about for a chat?

Tony says: I’ll start this by saying Martin- FYI I have changed my phone number and moved house. Do not try to find me…

Balmy summer’s ride, it’ll be lovely - that was Martin’s take on the event when the idea for the ride was hatched. In typical British summertime style that’s not what we ended up with, to say that the weather was awful would be an understatement. I can honestly say that it was the worst prolonged weather I’ve ever ridden in on a bike.

As Martin eluded to; the last part of the ride across the Forest was horrendous, if we hadn’t been doing the challenge I would have climbed off at that point and given up, but as we’d stated from the outset of this adventure failure was not an option! A few morale boosting Jelly babies and Bournemouth pier was in reach (see Martin I told you that they would pay dividends)

Weather can be debilitating on an endurance event and for a first ‘big ride’ Martin could not really have had it any harder, so; much Kudos from me to him for toughing it out. Although my legs are definitely more bronzed and shiny and that’s a fact!

I think that I speak for both of us when I say that the visit to the SFHT houses and meeting the clients in Southbourne last week really focussed the motivational aspect to get the ride finished.

Also for clarity I’d like to point out that I’m not team Gucci, all my kit has been purchased exceptionally cheaply from EBAY, GUMTREE and the such like, never exceeding £20 for an item (Just to confirm as Mrs O will be reading this and wish to allay her suspicions on what I actually spend on kit and negate the need for a forensic trawl through our accounts) :) and whilst on the wife subject, a big thank you from me to my wonderful long suffering wife for providing our vital logistical support on the day. At least this escapade was for an exceptional cause and not one of my random hare brained ideas. (I.e. blame Martin not me)

So, that about wraps it up from us for this adventure. There’s some footage and photos on the SFHT Facebook page if you want to see the bedraggled state we were in.

I’d like to finish by reiterating what Martin has said about your generosity in supporting us through this. We hope our updates have given you a feel of how this project has been for us throughout and an insight into how the end result has been achieved.

Right now, we have raised just under £2.500 which is awesome and more than we imagined. Your generosity has blown our initial thought of £1,000 out of the ballpark. Thank you all, your donations will make a difference.

Martin and Tony

(Team Lidl and most definitely not Team Gucci / GB just to reaffirm!)

2 weeks ago

Martin says:

Well reality is setting in now as we, well not so much we but more me, realise its only three days to the Pier to pier ride. I’ll be honest when I thought of doing this, I was very relaxed about it …. but now…. Not so much relaxed, more terrified.

But yesterday was a great day, the best day in our training. Teresa Hunt and Tracey Hickford both valued staff members at SFHT arranged a photo shoot at two of the houses in Southbourne with some of our friends from SFHT. This was special for both Tony and I for different reasons. Tony had not met the clients before and was impressed by their encouragement, enthusiasm and tea making. For me it was seeing my friends, too numerous to mention in the fear of leaving one out, that I have not seen since February. What Tony and I had in common and we both mentioned to each other was the additional motivation, if any was required, that we gained from just talking with them, their support for us and their effervescent personalities wishing us luck. The experience reminded me why I volunteer and support them.

Now onto the pain……I have been getting more advice on eating and drinking from Tony this week…. when will he realise that I know how to eat and drink? Answer me this. How can Tony, from Wales, give me an Italian (extraction) advice on eating Pasta? It would be like me giving him advice on sheep and what to do with a leek. But he did smile when I presented him with a bag of Jelly Babes prior to our ride. I have never bought Jelly Babes for a grown man before and after seeing the joyful expression on his face I will not be doing it again!!!!!! I think he was surprised and pleased that I have been listening to his advice.

Yesterday afternoon after a short ride taking in the photo shoot, we did our normal debrief at the end of my drive. Normal stuff how was I feeling, any aches and pains, the conversation about Pasta and drinking. What you must understand is that when Tony talks to me about drinking it is not how much water I drink during the day or on a ride it is my intake of vino whilst cooking my pasta and then eating the pasta. He told me no more alcohol from now. Well I wear my heart on my sleeve and my face must have said it all. Likewise, I now know Tony’s facial expressions and I could see that my reaction needed some explanation. “Tony Manchester United are playing West Ham tomorrow it’s a must win game…” before I could finish, he interrupted me saying “OK after the match tomorrow no more vino” It’s a deal Tony, honest, fingers crossed!

My cycling proficiency must be coming on. When we get to the bottom of a steep climb, aka a big hill, Tony now insists on me leading, where as before he took the lead and set the speed (I think he got fed up waiting at the top for me) I know when the next hill is round the corner because he suggests to me that I should eat a date, this is a dog whistle for hill. I still feel like his son when we eventually get to the summit and he showers me with praise and encouragement. Thanks dad.

Well that is it for now, I guess the next time I sit down to write a few lines will be from either a cardiac ward somewhere between Brighton and Bournemouth or on a pile of cushions on my sofa.

Tony says:

I think Martin has said it all, visiting the houses in Southbourne was a great day and was a great morale boost.

There's nothing left to do now other than get on and ride on Saturday, the wether forecast isn't looking too kind at the moment but fingers crossed that we'll get some dry spells through the day.

It's going to be a fair few hours in the saddle but a final thought from a well known quote- We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell!

Thanks again from both of us for all your support, it's really really appreciated

3 weeks ago

Bit of an update: Miles, Hills and Jelly babies

Martin says: Been out on a few training rides over the last week. We have two types of rides. Solo where I go for time in the saddle and together with Tony who works on stamina in the guise of HILLS!!! Over a few hours in the saddle.

Tony gives me advice on eating and drinking…as if I need advice on eating and drinking … I could teach him a few things about drinking. He asked me the other day what I had in my drink bottle I told him Gin and Tonic, you should have seen his face. The worrying thing was that he believed me. He is trying to get me on Isotonic Energy Gel which I have not tried yet, I’m sticking to eating dates as I ride which has side effects in the form of wind which helps with propulsion specially on those hills.

Tony had the camera out the other day which shows him in his Team slick gear and me in my Team Lidl gear. I had heard that the camera puts a few pounds on you when you appear on screen and I can confirm this. I thought my weight gain in lock down was due to my hair growth, the scales showed my long hair weighed in at about a stone and the scales do not lie…do they! He took some footage of me cycling up a hill which must have been a 1 in 1 and I am not kidding. I went past him as he filmed all you hear is me huffing and puffing and him encouraging me as you do with a young child who is learning to ride a bike …”keep going, go straight, keep going, don’t put your feet down..” Very funny Tony. We will try and get some footage on here to cheer up your day.

We have just over a week to go before the big day and Tony is encouraging in my progress and confident in my ability to finish the ride on the same day I start it. As I’ve mentioned I have not been on a bike since I was a 16 year old paper boy in Manchester. Over the last few months, I have completed long hours in the saddle but like all top athletes I’ve not cycled the full distance in training. I am sure on the day the occasion and the generosity of those that have donated will give me that motivation and drive to get me through.

Tony says: As Martin says, its been all about miles and hills this past week, I have had a minor mishap that involved a paddle board, stepping off, my left foot and a sharp rock… needless to say this has curtailed my riding somewhat whilst poorly foot heals. (I hope!)

As the saying goes you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink is apt when it comes to Martin and eating and drinking on the go, ensuring we have enough fuel on board throughout the ride on the 25th will be critical. The first mention of Gel or Electrolytes seems to be met with a glazed over expression and a question about the validity of wine and pastry in training programmes. And that Martin is why we went to a steep hill :) Still on a positive he is considering the jelly babies suggestion! (despite his initial scepticism).

To date the numbers read. £1.010 in donations, £127.50 in Gift Aid and £25.00 in cash. This is more than we dreamed of and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, truly amazing figures. If you have not donated yet and you have a few quid please donate. We would love to get up to £1.500 by Saturday 25th July.

Thank you.

Martin and Tony

4 weeks ago

A few words from Martin.

I have been a volunteer at the Stables Family Home Trust for a couple of years and a member at Ringwood David Lloyd Gym. Previously Tony and I together with other likeminded friends have completed two fund raisers with the support of David Lloyd. As a result, SFHT have been able to purchase outside gym/exercise equipment for the clients that attend Aspire Day Services in Ringwood.

During lockdown Aspire has had to close its doors which has cut off a vital cash flow and left their clients on lockdown in their various houses around Bournemouth.

Over the years I have been involved with SFHT I have got to know the clients, their personalities, determination to succeed and their independence develop. I count myself blessed to be able to contribute and support them in their achievements.

Tony and I are asking you from the bottom of our hearts to please help us with a donation, big, small, or massive(!), anything will help support these great individuals at SFHT. Thank you in anticipation.

Kind regards.

Martin & Tony

1 month ago

Bike ride you say?

Well July has arrived and the Pier to Pier adventure is in three weeks. You are asking yourself how did this come about? Read below and find out why Martin and Tony are going to ride their bikes from Brighton Pier to Bournemouth Pier in less than a day!

Martin- “So….. It’s the beginning of July and I’m wondering how it is that in three weeks’ time on Saturday 25th July I’ll be cycling 80 miles in one day from Brighton to Bournemouth Pier. Not unusual for many I hear you say, apart from the fact that until April this year I haven’t really been on a bike for a fair period of time which may or may not be over half a century ago”!

Tony – “This all started with a message from Martin in April, just as we were able to get out and about a bit more during Lockdown. It was very simple – “Mate, have you got a bike I could borrow for a couple of weeks until this thing is over?”

It just so happened that I did and as Martin lives a couple of doors away from me, I dropped it round. Little did I know what this would lead to.

Martin – “After discovering that modern bikes have more than 3 gears and brakes that actually work I started to enjoy my limited rides out around the locality and wondered how far I could go in the future and then a light bulb moment. I could undertake a personal challenge and raise some funds for the SFHT into the bargain.

If only I could rope someone else in to help me out with this….

Tony- “So you fancy raising funds for the SFHT, sure great idea, great organisation. You want to do what? Really? You sure? You want some advice That’s a long way with a short training window. You think I know about bikes and stuff? Well yes a little bit I suppose. You need a training partner in this? Um, Yes Ok then”.

And that was it. Somehow I’d become the partner in Martin’s challenge.

So that’s how this Pier to Pier fundraising challenge event has become a reality. For the next three weeks in the lead up we’ll be doing a blog and taking some pictures on our training escapades and how its going, yesterday was particularly delightful in the rain- Not. We’ll be working on a minimum of 40 miles to tie in with the 40 SFHT challenge month.

So if you’re interested in how the pensive coach and the keen novice cyclist pensioner are getting on please look on in, if nothing else it might brighten up your week with the comedy value.

And please if you could, donate whatever you can

tony owen and martin stachini is fundraising for

The Stable Family Home Trust

Charity number: 1093672

Recent donations

1 week ago

Bleasey from the Wirral

Well done.

£20.00 + £5.00 Gift Aid

1 week ago

Micky Chilman

Bloody incredible!! Very inspiring both of you! Martin you’ll be coming to Africa with me now!!

£50.00 + £12.50 Gift Aid

1 week ago

Harry Stachini

Good effort fellas! Very proud of you Dad! Thank for looking after him Tony ;)

£30.00 + £7.50 Gift Aid

1 week ago


Well done Tony - it must have been grim in yesterday’s weather ????

£30.00 + £7.50 Gift Aid

1 week ago

Chris & Shelly

Well done Tony & Martin!

£20.00 + £5.00 Gift Aid

1 week ago

Dave o

£10.00 + £2.50 Gift Aid

1 week ago

Katie Baxter

Well done boys , From Matt, Kate,Phil and Jean

£30.00 + £7.50 Gift Aid

1 week ago

Lisa prior

£10.00 + £2.50 Gift Aid

1 week ago


Fantastic achievement!!


1 week ago


£20.00 + £5.00 Gift Aid

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