Five cycle length of UK for charity

Roulston charity ride
Roulston charity ride

five dedicated men from the Belper area have cycled the length of the UK and raised more than £4,000 for two charities.

The quintet of cyclists completed the mammoth 1,000-mile ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just ten days.

They were on the road for between nine and 11 hours per day.

The five with weary legs were Gareth Roulston, 28, of Belper, John Whittle, 29, of Belper, Duncan Grant, 21, of Turnditch, Jordan Lambert, 27, of Belper, and Danny Smetham, 26, of Belper.

But it was all worth it in the end as £2,175 was raised for Cancer Research UK and £2,050 was presented to the Scleroderma Society.

The Scleroderma Society is handing the money that the men raised to Penny’s Fund, which supports seriously-ill Belper woman Penny Wheeler.

Penny, 52, suffers from two life-threatening conditions – scleroderma and pulmonary fibrosis.

They supported Penny’s Fund because Danny knows her husband, who is a customer at the Grapes pub, in Belper, where Danny works.

Gareth said of the trek: “It was tougher than we expected it to be and there were times where we had to pull each other through.

“The toughest days were at the start and the end. Cornwall was very hilly, which made for a tough first day. And the final run into John O’Groats saw us riding into the wind all day. Not the easy finish we were hoping for!

“We were very lucky with the weather, with only one day of rain and the rest clear blue skies and sunshine.”

Generous strangers also contributed to the total raised when they saw, from the team’s shirts, what they were doing and decided they wanted to sponsor them.

The total raised could still increase, they have said.

Gareth said: “We would like to thank all of our friends, family and work colleagues who sponsored us, making our efforts worthwhile, Sperry Rail for sponsoring our riding kit, Northgate Vehicle Hire for providing us with a support vehicle, and Norman Whittle (John’s dad) who took time off work to drive the vehicle and keep us fed and watered throughout the day. However, he was also responsible for encouraging us to drink more alcohol in the evenings than we really should have been doing!”