Cy­clists will go across coun­try to help hospice

Team of friends will travel more than 400 miles over four days

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Spotlight On Health - By Vicky Cas­tle

A group of cy­clists from Ash­ford have taken on the mam­moth chal­lenge of rid­ing from Land’s End to Mar­gate to raise cash for Pil­grims Hospice.

The 10 rid­ers, who are all close friends and ride the Pil­grims cy­cle chal­lenge ev­ery year, said they have now de­cided to do some­thing big­ger and bet­ter.

They will take on the mam­moth route from Tues­day, May 30, to Fri­day, June 2, dur­ing which time they will travel more than 430 miles and climb around 23,000ft.

One of t he rid­ers, Sean Cal­nan, said: “We had spo­ken – al­beit light­heart­edly – about cy­cling from Land’s End to Mar­gate, and dur­ing a house party on Christ­mas Eve af­ter some liq­uid re­fresh­ment, the plan was shared and sev­eral peo­ple were keen, so there was no go­ing back!”

The group have de­cided on a route and will fund all ho­tels and food them­selves.

They will be joined by a cou­ple of team mem­bers in “day vans” who will carry peo­ple, bikes and bags, so they will have sup­port en route.

Mr Cal­nan said: “It has been a real joint ef­fort so far. One team mem­ber is a nurse and we are be­ing supplied with spares and nu­tri­tion by Rom­ney Cy­cles, as well as pre-ride ser­vices for all the bikes.

“This is prob­a­bly the long­est any of us have rid­den in one day and we have to do it for two con­sec­u­tive days, fol­low­ing the hills on the two pre­vi­ous days.

“For us so­cial cy­clists this is an epic chal­lenge and none of us are sure of fin­ish­ing it, but it is for a fan­tas­tic char­ity so we will give it ev­ery­thing we can.

“Train­ing is well un­der way now and af­ter the win­ter it is tough go­ing, but we have a plan in place and we are all com­pet­i­tive so we will stick with it.”

In prepa­ra­tion for their big­gest ride, the team will first take on the 100-mile Pil­grims Cy­cle Chal­lenge and the Lon­don Revo­lu­tion.

To sup­port their amaz­ing fundraiser, visit www.just­giv­ fundrais­ing/LEMA-2017

From left, cy­clists Col­man Car­pen­ter, Chris Skel­ton, Jay Fun­nell, Sue Barrett Austen, Nigel Vague, Sara Marsh, Paul Marsh, Julia Cal­nan, Sean Cal­nan and Dave Jen­nings

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