Two intrepid friends will be putting pedal power to the test when they embark on a mammoth 1,400 mile charity cycle ride next week.
Darryl Playford, 48, and Jonathan Cousins, 44, are planning on cycling 100 miles a day, for 14 days straight, in aid of three charities dear to their hearts.
The pair, who both work for seed specialist Limagrain Ltd in Docking, will ride all the way from Dover to John O’Groats when they take on the entire mainland length of the National Cycle Network Route One.
They are aiming to raise £3,000 from the challenge and start their journey next Saturday, May 30 – two years to the day that Mr Playford lost his father to cancer.
For that reason, and having witnessed friends and other family members also affected by the disease, Mr Playford has chosen to do the ride in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The keen cyclist, who lives in Dersingham, has also chosen to support the Crohn’s and Colitis UK charity as his daughter Charlotte, 16, was diagnosed with Crohn’s when she was just ten-years-old.
In the years since her diagnosis, she has had to endure an operation to remove a section of her bowel, and for a six-week period she had to follow a strict medicated milkshake diet, with no other food allowed and constant hospital visits to receive treatment via a drip.
“She is currently taking her AS level exams whilst suffering with symptoms,” said Mr Playford. “There is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease.”
Jonathon, from Ringstead, has chosen to support pet charity PDSA.
As an animal lover, he wanted to help a charity which allows people who are often lonely and on low incomes to have a pet as a companion without having to worry about costly vet’s bills.
Various fundraising events have already been held to help the boys reach their target, with Limagrain donating £500 to the cause.
The pair got the bug for cycle touring after completing a 100-mile bike ride together a few years ago.
They discussed the idea of a major tour, but it was only after the death of Mr Playford’s father that they committed to do it.
Mr Playford said: “We discussed the possibilities and after rejecting the obvious Land’s End to John O’Groats I suggested the Route One option.
“It met all our expectations for a proper challenge, something different to the norm and the requirement to meet the demands of that original challenge, 100 miles per day. Only this time it will be for 14 consecutive days.”
Having postponed the event for a year because of work commitments, they are now all but ready for the off.
Anyone wanting to sponsor the pair can visit: www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/getonyourbikeandride
Sponsorship forms are also available at Dersingham Post Office and Docking Spar shop.
There is the option at all the donation sites for people to choose to give to any of the charities individually should they prefer to do so.
Mr Playford and Mr Cousins will be keeping everyone updated on the progress of their journey as they go through their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/getonyourbikeandride
They expect to be riding through West Norfolk on Tuesday, June 2. “If you see us give us a wave and shout of encouragement,” they said.