Sidmouth's 'Midlife Cyclists' riding end-to-end
PUBLISHED: 16:30 31 May 2016
Seven sporty dads are cycling the length of the country to boost a cancer charity that supported one of their friends.
Brothers Mark and Craig Badcock will be joined by Steve Mead, Jon Miller, Billy Emmett, Mike Stamp and Andrew Jarrett riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End for the Exeter Leukaemia Fund (ELF).
The ‘Midlife Cyclists’ plan to cover the 960 miles over nine days, with support from John Keast – inspired in part by a looming milestone birthday.
“Steve’s turning 50 this year – that was one of the drivers for the ride, and it’s not often we can all negotiate this long away from our families,” said dad-of-two Mark.
“For the last six or seven years, we’ve done mountain biking weekends, but this year we decided to go for it while we’re fit enough to do the end-to-end.”
They are flying to their starting point on July 1, mounting their bikes the next day, and hope to arrive at Land’s End by July 10.
Their destination is closer to home, but widely regarded as the more difficult direction for the end-to-end cycle – the prevailing south-westerly will be against them, and the last legs of the journey will cover the hills of Exmoor and Dartmoor.
The health-conscious seven have been friends for decades. Four of them went to school together, and met the rest at Sidmouth’s football, running or rugby clubs. They turned to cycling when the strain of football matches got too much, although Mike still plays.
“Motivation’s high and we’re all looking forward to it,” added Mike, of Malvern Road. “Some riders are stronger than others, but we’ve made a pact we will stick together from the first mile to the last.”
They hope to raise at least £1,000 for ELF for the support it gave his friend, Lynne Thorne, and her family while she went through months of treatment at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
She has now been in remission for 15 months and is back running the East Devon Dance Academy.
To back the riders, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mark-Badcock1