While most of us will be knocking off work for the weekend round about now, spare a thought for 15 cyclists, nearly all of them railway workers, who have been in the saddle for more than 12 hours under pouring rain with a few more to go before completing a 200-mile charity ride from Manchester to London. As at 5.30 this evening, they were more than two thirds of the way through the trip.
Team Pendo – named for the Virgin Pendolino trains which provide a rather quicker way of getting from the northwest to the capital, are looking to raise money for a new Young Oncology Unit (YOU) at The Christie hospital in Manchester.
They’re led by Virgin train driver John Young, who says: “The idea was to get a team of cyclists to set off from Manchester Piccadilly at the same time of our first Pendolino (Pendo) train at 5.05am and then cycle over 200 miles in one day to make it to London Euston in time to catch the last Virgin Train back to Manchester at 22.00pm.
“Over 200 miles in under 17 hours! Not easy, but life isn't – especially if you are suffering from the daily challenges brought about by cancer.”
Howard Newhall, Community Fundraising Officer at The Christie Charity, commented: “We are astounded by the dedication of everyone taking part this challenge, many of whom who have only been cycling seriously since January this year - and wish them all the best of luck for Friday.
“I too will be saddling up take part in the cycle so please support us if you can. You can track our progress online too so please tweet us any messages of support.”
You can find out more about the challenge, as well as donating to team Pendo’s appeal, on their Just Giving page, and donations can also be made by texting trip99 to 70070.
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Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.