Charity cyclists raise thousands

David Keenan, Glen Charnock, Curtis Gizzi, Chris Martin and Joanne Martin

David Keenan, Glen Charnock, Curtis Gizzi, Chris Martin and Joanne Martin

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A team of five charity cyclists raised £3,800 for The Children’s Centre by completing a 170-mile ride from Morecambe to Bridlington in two days.

The fundraisers completed the ‘Way of the Roses Coast To Coast Cycling Challenge’ which passes through the Lune Valley and Yorkshire Dales, and goes through the historic cities of Lancaster and York.

Chris Martin, facilities manager at The Children’s Centre, was joined by his wife Joanne and their friend Glenn Charnock.

Three members of the charity’s facilities team completed the line-up with Curtis Gizzi and David Keenan cycling, and Mark Earl driving a support vehicle for the team.

Chris Martin said it was a great adventure for a group of ‘non-cyclists’ and added: ‘We slightly underestimated the task in hand, and took a few wrong turns when we departed Morecambe quite nervously.

‘The terrain was flat and easy going on tow path and cycle way to start with, but it wasn’t long before our first drama at the one-mile mark when David got a puncture.

‘Like all the dramas that happened the team rallied round to sort them, whether it was lost pedals, accidents, fears, or fatigue.

‘The hills were daunting on paper and they lived up to their reputation. The route was awesome and included every sort of terrain from cobbles to corn fields.

‘It was an amazing experience and we are all now even greater friends.’

On behalf of the team Chris thanked everyone who sponsored them. All funds raised will go towards The Children’s Centre’s Saturday Contact Centre which provides a friendly and neutral setting where children of separated families can spend time with one or both parents, and sometimes other family members.

Mark Eastham, Fundraising Co-ordinator for The Children’s Centre, said: ‘We’re extremely grateful for the efforts of the riders and everyone who sponsored them to raise such a magnificent total.

‘Charity cycling events are becoming increasingly popular, and completing long-distance events like the Way of the Roses gives a real sense of achievement.

‘The group were very new to cycling, and this was their first long distance cycle challenge – but they had a lot of fun completing the ride and their example shows how accessible such events are to those new to cycling.

‘Of course, the experience we have at The Children’s Centre in organising teams for this type of challenge means that fundraisers choosing our charity when taking part in events know that they will receive great advice and support.’

Inspired by their experience of completing the Way of the Roses event, the team which completed the Way of the Roses ride have set themselves a new challenge for 2014.

They will be tackling a 242-mile cycle from Belfast to Ballyshannon which will take place from August 6 to 10.

They will again be raising funds for The Children’s Centre and the charity is looking for more riders to join them. If you are interested in taking part, contact Mark Eastham by calling 676076 or emailing

Full details of the route can be found at here.

Pictured: David Keenan, Glen Charnock, Curtis Gizzi, Chris Martin and Joanne Martin

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