Hospice benefits from big bike ride

An eight-strong team of Mansfield’s cyclists rode the 900 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End in nine days to raise more than £5,000 for The John Eastwood Hospice.

Alison Whittingham, Paul Whittingham, Denis Cormican, Anton Newell, Tony Goodyear, David Ward, Paul Hughes and Scott Quincey completedtheir gruelling trip during the last week of August.

It was the first time any of the team - all keen cyclists or triathletes - had tackled the famous route.

There were inevitable aches and pains along the way, but good weather aided their journey that took in the beatiful sights of Loch Ness and Loch Lomond - as well as plenty of Premier Inn hotel rooms!

“It was a tough ask and the hardest thing was getting up and going out on the bike day after day because you had to rather than being able to go out when you chose to,” said Mr Newell.

“Because we had pre-booked all our overnight stays, we knew we couldn’t have any rest days, but we all made it the whole way to the end.

“We all put in plenty of preparation by getting lots of miles in the legs in training and we generally rode the route in two groups.

“We had a little bit of rain when we set off in Scotland and a little bit in Bodmin close to the end, but for the rest of the time it was either cloudy or sunny with no rain and the wind didn’t cause as many problems as it can.”

The team celebrated finishing by going for a meal in Newquay followed by a few hard-earned drinks.

Christine Hassall of The John Eastwood Hospice said: “We are so grateful that this team of riders has chosen us and there hard work will definitely prove worthwhile with the projects they will be supporting.

“To ride all that way is a terrifc effort from all concerned.”

To make a pledge, log on to www.justgiving/alisonwhittingham