Cyclists ride 300 miles for St Barnabas

Some of the cyclists who raised money for St Barnabas
Some of the cyclists who raised money for St Barnabas

BLUSTERY winds and driving rain did not deter a group of cyclists from riding 308 miles from Land’s End to St Barnabas House hospice in memory of their friend.

Last year, the same group of 16 cyclists tackled a ride from St Barnabas to Paris, organised by Peter Stapleton.

They raised £15,000 and as soon as they returned, Peter started organising this year’s trip. Sadly, Peter, 54, died suddenly in November last year so his bicycling buddies decided to dedicate this year’s trip to his memory.

Julian Lilley, who organised the bike ride, said: “We wanted to do the trip in memory of Peter so we went and saw his wife, Mandi, just a couple of days after he died and told her we would like to carry on and do it in his name.

“She was delighted and so that’s what we’ve done.”

The team, all friends from the Esporta gym in Rustington, set off on September 8.

They were sponsored by Temco and Sunrise Global Aviation in Shoreham and John Wildman & Sons Family Butchers in Rustington.

“The weather was horrendous,” said Julian.

“With day two being not only very wet and windy but very hilly too – we climbed to around 1,400 feet.”

The group arrived back at St Barnabas House in Durrington on day four and were greeted by the hospice’s chief executive, Hugh Lowson, and their friends and families.

St Barnabas fund-raiser, Mary Bye, met Peter during last year’s cycle ride and said she was so moved by their determination she decided to join the group on the trip.

She said: “I have had a fantastic time with an amazing bunch of people and would like to thank each and every one of them for their tremendous efforts.”

The cyclists hope to have raised £8,000 for the hospice.