TWO Mansfield pals are gearing up for a challenging coast to coast mountain bike ride later this month to raise vital money for charity.
Biking enthusiasts Kevin Smith and Neil Fenwick will be setting off from Whitehaven in Cumbria on 30th April and are aiming to complete the 150-mile in Sunderland just two days later.
The pair have recently taken up their new hobby to get fit and decided to set themselves the coastal challenge to get them through the long winter months.
“We just needed a goal to help motivate us during the cold weather and I mentioned the idea to Neil, and here we are so hopefully the weather will be kind to us,” said Kevin (37).
“We’ve been riding for a few months and have started getting serious over the last month riding to Clumber Park, around Sherwood Pines and getting out to the Peak District as well.”
The coast to coast ride is around 150 miles, and will take them through the Lake District, over the North Pennines and then downhill into County Durham.
“We’re hoping to cover 50 miles a day, apparently the second day is a bit of a grind over the remote Pennines as it gets pretty windy on the high ground, but I’m confident we’ll complete the ride - we have to, we have no back-up,” added Kevin.
Neil (43) is also hoping all the months of training pays off when their epic ride begins.
“Back in December, looking at my waistline and general fitness, the thought of doing a 150-mile ride seemed quite daunting, especially as I’ve not done much biking since I was 18,” he said.
“But I think we’ll do it although I’m sure that we’ll both be a bit saddle sore afterwards.”
The gruelling trek will all be worthwhile as the friends are hoping to raise more than £500 for Cancer Research UK in memory of Sue Gill, the partner of Neil’s brother, who died last month following a three-year battle with stomach cancer.
“Riding in Sue’s memory will spur us on even more and any support we receive through donations would be very much appreciated,” added Neil.
“Cancer Research UK seemed the obvious charity as the disease affects so many people, and every little helps.
You can sponsor Kevin and Neil by visiting their online fundraising page on www.justgiving.com/kev-and-neil-c2c.