THE bright lights of Blackpool awaited a group of friends who on Monday (August 1), pedalled 156 miles from Redditch to Blackpool in just 14 hours.
Setting off at 5am, the team cycled the mammoth ride with just a couple of pit-stops along the way and, spurred on behind the scenes by their friend Lar (Lawrence O’Connor) made their destination by nightfall.
The group – Tom Whitehead, Kevin Preston, Jimmy Hunt, Dean Wicket, Alex Woodbridge and Matt Hill – were raising money for two-and-a-half-year-old Luna Dawson, who suffers from a rare chromosome disorder and was born with a cleft palate and holes in her heart.
The little girl has a couple of operations planned for the coming months and her family are looking to the future and hoping to spend quality time together.
Dad Liam said: “Everyday is a battle for Luna and the money the guys have raised will make such a difference to us.
“We’ll be able to have some family days out and maybe even a holiday next year, once Luna’s health has improved.
Mum, Kirsten added: “Liam works such long hours and Luna takes a lot of looking after, so spending quality time together is so valuable.
“We really appreciate the lads’ efforts and I cannot put into words how grateful we are,”
Luna, her baby brother and parents met the exhausted cyclists in Blackpool as they finished their challenge.
Tom said: “We are all pretty keen cyclists and the first 100 miles were a pleasure – but I must admit the final 50 were really tough.
“I didn’t have a lot of feeling in my legs the next day, but for such a worthy cause I think we were all happy to put up with a bit of pain.”
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