The friends set off yesterday (Thursday) on an arduous C2C (Coast to Coast) ride from Cumbria to Sunderland, covering a three-day route that extends across the Lake District and the Pennines, and features several tough climbs.
It’s all in aid of Epperstone man Adam Richmond, 44, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer, the day before his wife, Petra, gave birth to their second child.
Sadly, there is currently no cure for the condition, but his friends are aiming to raise more than £13,000 for the Multiple Myeloma UK charity, which offers valuable support for patients and their families, and also funds vital research.
Incredibly, despite several bouts of chemotherapy and stem cell transplant, Adam himself was determined to join his mates on the cycling marathon.
And after the first 24 hours, one of the chief organisers, Ben Henshaw, reported: “Day one completed without any incidents.
"A total of 57 miles completed, and everyone did really well, considering the heat we had to contend with.”
Ben, who went to school with Adam at Worksop College, runs Henshaw Fitted Furniture in Mansfield and his own mother, well-known former councillor and charity stalwart, Heather Henshaw, died of the same type of cancer in 2015.
The other cyclists are either from the Mansfield area or have strong links to the town through successful businesses. Indeed Adam himself is the son of Philip Richmond, who ran Jollys Jewellers for many years.
The other friends on the ride are: James Campin, Edward Deverill, William Deverill, Paul Gilby, Robyn Edwards and Richard Boot. They will be joined tomorrow (Saturday) by Ben’s 15-year-old son, Jamie, as a support rider.
Ben said: “We have all been friends for a long time, and Adam’s illness hit us hard.”
Multiple Myeloma UK relies entirely on fundraising and donations for its work. Already, more than 200 supporters have dug deep to raise £12,077 to support the C2C ride.
If you would like to donate, please go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ben-henshaw3