TWO CUMBRIA cyclists are embarking on a non-stop 24-hour charity bike ride today.
Nick Woof and Roger Cowton will cycle continuously on routes around Carlisle to raise money for mental health charity, Carlisle Eden Mind.
Their base for the challenge will be The Crown at Stanwix, where a support team will provide food and mechanical help. The pair will set off from The Crown at 4pm on Friday, stopping for just 20 minutes every five hours during the 24-hour marathon bike ride.
Nick said: “We wanted to do something which would motivate us to get out on our bikes, especially after the events we had in the diary were cancelled. Mental health is a huge issue right now and it’s good to do something to help.”
They hope to raise £2,000 for the charity through donations to their Just Giving and Facebook pages, and donations on the day at the pub. Nick, from Pennington Drive, and Roger, from Houghton, will be joined on the 24-hour ride by members of the public who have pre-booked a two-hour slot on one of the 13 loops. A larger event was originally planned, but restrictions mean a maximum of six people can ride at any one time. Two ride leaders will help set the pace and ensure they follow the right route.
The different routes range in distance from 20 miles to 31 miles and will follow roads around the city and the surrounding countryside including Rockcliffe and Westlinton, Calthwaite and Durdar, Wiggonby and Great Orton, and Hethersgill and Irthington. The total distance is equivalent to riding from Carlisle to Buckingham Palace.
Roger said: “We’ve done some longer training routes of more than 100 miles as preparation. It’s about pacing yourself and not going too fast.”
Nick and Roger met through a mutual biking friend, Michael Craig, who runs Backstreet Bike Repairs in Stanwix, and is the mechanic for the event. The training regime has included routes over Shap and through the Lake District, into south west Scotland to Castle Douglas and Dumfries, and to Kielder Water in Northumberland.
During the event, a gazebo will be set up outside The Crown and representatives from the charity will be available to chat about its work.
Rhona Bill, general manager at The Crown, said: “We’re delighted to support such a brilliant event in aid of such a great cause.
“We’ll be holding collections for Carlisle Eden Mind during the challenge and doing everything we can to help the guys reach their target.”
The event is also supported by Carlisle-based MSB Signs, which has designed and donated the signage and banners, and Outdoor Provisions, which has provided energy bars. Carlisle Eden Mind supports people with mental health problems across the Carlisle and Eden area.
Michael Boaden, adult services manager for the charity, said: “We are delighted that Nick and Roger have chosen to support Carlisle Eden Mind. Like many charities, we’ve had a difficult few months in terms of fundraising events being cancelled, so this is a boost.
“It comes at a time when demand for the services we offer is increasing, with the money raised from this event going directly towards supporting people in the local area.
“We are also grateful to The Crown for supporting the challenge over the 24 hours, and we’ll be at the event, to support Nick and Roger and for anyone who wants to find out more about Carlisle Eden Mind.”
Follow Nick and Roger’s bike ride via their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/NickandRogers24hourcycle
Donate via the Just Giving website at Nick and Rogers 24hr Cycle, or via Facebook.