Octagon Cycling Club to pedal 300 miles to raise money for Addenbrookes and YouCanBikeToo

Octagon Cycling to pedal 300 miles for two local charities

Octagon Cycling to pedal 300 miles for two local charities - Credit: Archant

Thirty cyclists from Octagon Cycling Club will pedal 300 miles over two days in May to raise money for two local charities.

‘The 300’ is an octagon shaped route from Ely, taking in Letchworth, Aylesbury, Chipping Norton, Birmingham, Loughborough, Grantham and Spalding.

Two of the cyclists are attempting the challenge on a tandem.

The fundraising group will set off from Ely Cathedral at 6am on Saturday May 21 and is aiming to return to the Cathedral by 6pm on Sunday May 22.

Octagon Cycling Club, well known for fundraising as well as eating cake on their training rides, is aiming to raise £10,000.

The money will be shared between Addenbrookes Charitable Trust and YouCanBikeToo, a local organisation aiming to get everyone cycling, which focuses on people with disabilities and families riding together.

Robin Jones, founding member of Octagon Cycling Club and one of the tandem riders, said the team has been training hard.

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“Some have made the ultimate sacrifice and given up cake and alcohol in January and we are regularly covering 50-60 miles on weekend training rides.”

Octagon Cycling Club has personal reasons for choosing to raise money for ACT this year, as two members have had personal experience of the care provided by Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Neil Bowman’s son Lucas was born with supraventricular tachycardia, a very rare heart condition resulting in a lengthy stay in the Rosie Hospital.

After a traumatic few weeks Lucas went on to recover from his early heart complications due to the outstanding expertise and care from his cardiologist, and is now a lively five-year-old.

He said: “To be told your six-week-old baby is seriously ill and the next 24 hours are critical is the most devastating news any parent could possibly have to hear.

“We will be eternally grateful to Lucas’ cardiologist and The Rosie Hospital for ensuring that he recovered from his ordeal and for the on-going care we are receiving.”

Andrew Turton, another cyclist, and his family, also have good reason to support ACT. Andrew’s son Edward was born with down syndrome and a major heart defect resulting in him spending the first four weeks of his life in the neonatal intensive-care unit.

He said: “The level of care and support from the nursing staff and doctors was invaluable for the whole family and Edward is now a year old and doing well.”

Both Neil and Andrew are hoping that some of the funds that Octagon Cycling raise will be used for the Children’s Ward and also to support families going through similar experiences.

Corporate sponsors are being sought, who will have their logos printed on the cyclists’ team kit in return for their donation.

Local businesses wishing to take part can contact Octagon Cycling.

Anyone wishing to donate should visit their fundraising page.