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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Cyclists saddle up for Alice’s Escapes

A TEAM of Furness fundraisers have taken up the colossal challenge of riding 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The 10-day ride starts on April 20 and will cover around 100 miles per day. The team is fundraising for Alice’s Escapes, a new charity founded by Alice Pyne and her family, from Ulverston. The charity’s aim is to provide holidays for seriously ill children and their families, reports JO DAVIES

THEY’VE endured cramps, blisters, scrapes and faulty spokes but now an intrepid group of cyclists are fighting fit for the final push – a 1,000 mile journey by bike from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The eight cyclists have endured a punishing training regime, riding 100-plus miles each week, on top of their jobs and family commitments, for a cause close to their hearts – to raise money and awareness for Alice’s Escapes.

The charity has been set up by Ulverston teenager, Alice Pyne, who has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, to provide holidays for seriously ill children and their families.

Organiser Cathy Broomfield, whose husband Simon is one of the cyclists, said: “There are eight riders participating and I think it’s something they’ve always wanted to do and are up for a challenge.

“But combined with that, to find out they’re raising money for Alice’s charity was the final incentive.

“They’re all local people participating – all from Barrow, Ulverston and Walney.

“Everyone has been cycling to different degrees, from Gary, who’s a rider with Biketreks, right through to Simon and Steff who have had a go at the Tour de Furness, but never anything like this.”

The cyclists started training in October and have gradually built up the miles, meeting every Sunday for a group excursion.

“It’s been difficult because that’s meant training over the winter, but fortunately it’s been quite a mild winter and when the weather has been bad they’ve trained indoors on turbo bikes,” added Cathy.

“They have been training really hard.”

The fundraisers have been supported by companies including Skoda UK which supplied the lithographs for the support car and Booths which will provide the team’s daily lunchtime meal. Beautician Emma Richardson has volunteered to wax the team’s legs.

Cathy said: “It’s been great to get all the local businesses to help out.

“Fundraising is really important to provide the little extras but what we need to look at promoting is encouraging local businesses to be involved.

“Myself and Simon are the network facilitators and we’re compiling a database of businesses.

“The holidays will be last minute to slot in with children’s treatment. The idea is it doesn’t necessarily cost the business providers but if a local hotel knew they had a spare room next week we could possibly use it.

“We’ve got a great committee of trustees and Alice’s parents are fully involved.”

Team Alice have raised £3,400 so far.

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