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Caian going west on charity bike ride

  • 30 June 2021

Jasmine Coomber (Natural Sciences (Physics) 2018) and her sister Jessica will cycle from Dover to Land’s End in July to fundraise for an environmental charity

Caian Jasmine Coomber will cycle the length of the south coast from Dover to Land’s End in July alongside her sister to fundraise for Surfers Against Sewage, the environmental charity.

Jasmine, 22, and her sister Jessica, 25, plan to ride for 50 to 60 miles a day for eight days, hugging the coastline as much as possible on what is sure to be a challenging route. They are scheduled to leave Dover on Thursday 8 July.

For Jasmine, cycling in Cambridge was the catalyst, but the lack of hills has not been ideal preparation.

“I’ve been going up Castle Hill and that’s about it!” she says.

Cycling has been something of an escape for Jasmine during the Covid-19 lockdowns, explorations of Cambridge and the surrounding countryside prompting more elaborate ambitions.

She adds: “I had this idea in the back of my head: I wanted to cycle around the coast of the UK. But then thought ‘that’s a big challenge to start with – maybe just the south coast’…”

Mentioning the idea to Jessica made it a reality for the sisters, who grew up near Sevenoaks in Kent. “She’s super organised, so she started making loads of plans,” Jasmine adds.

New bikes were purchased, needing to carry luggage in panniers and a tent for three nights camping. The pair are also determined to enjoy the journey by taking in the scenery, swimming in the sea, and doing yoga to aid the recovery of tired muscles.

“We do want to relax and enjoy it a bit as well,” says Jasmine, who studied Earth Science last year and is looking forward to seeing the Jurassic Coast.

“We were supposed to have an Earth Science trip down to Lyme Regis but it was cancelled… So I’ll drag Jess along to do a bit of fossil hunting!”

For Jessica this is a holiday from her role in designing children’s books, working on tales like Thomas the Tank Engine, Pokémon, and Fireman Sam. She studied graphic design at the University of Falmouth so knows the Cornwall coastline well.

Practising repairing a puncture is on the to-do list, now Jasmine has finished her exams, and training rides will step up when she returns to Kent.

Raising money for Surfers Against Sewage – the charity has origins in surfing but is now known for campaign work in highlighting water quality and plastic pollution in the seas, lakes and rivers of the UK – and highlighting the climate emergency is a big motivation for Jasmine.

“This is something we really need to deal with, and I don’t think I’d be happy in myself if I didn’t do something about it and try to get more involved,” she says.

“It’s shocking it’s not the main thing in everybody’s life at the moment – it’s understandable given people’s busy schedules, but I’d love to raise more awareness.”

To sponsor Jasmine and Jessica, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jess-jaz-southcoastcycle

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