Up and Under Group

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75 year age span at the Foundation Rides

The sun shone and the bikes came out, the 2014 Up and Under Foundation Rides were about to start. At 8am the first wave, destined for a 100mile ride including the ascent of the Horseshoe Pass, set of ‘le Mans’ style. An hour later the riders participating in the 100km ride set off, slightly more sedately, for a tour of some of the beautiful countryside Cheshire offers the cyclist.

At 9.30 the 50km ride was lead off by members of the Cheshire Buddies, a group dedicated to integrating youngsters with disabilities into mainstream activities. Groups like the Buddies and the Scouts, who also had a significant presence, are beneficiaries of funds raised by the Up and Under Foundation from this ride and other activities.

The Foundation Rides, now in their second year, attract a wide range of cyclists, from the keen clubmen to the occasional leisure rider. We had carbon fibre super bikes weighing less than some people’s lunch, mountain bikes, tandems and even a postman’s bike. You may remember Simon Walker rode 60 miles last year dressed as Postman Pat, complete with foam rubber head and black & white cat. Well this year he went further completing the 160km and 1700m of climbing that was the Tough Stuff ride. “Although it was a long climb, the Horseshoe Pass wasn’t too bad” was Simon’s verdict as he enjoyed a well-earned cup of tea and Chatwins gingerbread man at the finish.

Age is no barrier to a ride like this, the youngest rider was Amber Edwards who helped the Buddies efforts on the 50km, while Angus Chesworth at 10, was the youngest rider to complete the 100km ride At the other extreme our most experienced cyclist was 84 yr old John Dunn who completed the 100km ride in a respectable time. John O’Connor, a local Scout, at 14 years old, was the youngest to complete the 100 mile ride, finishing before many of the older, more experienced participants.

To prepare the riders for the long day in the saddle Mornflake provided porridge and cereal at the start. At the finish CTC Healthcare masseurs were available for much of the day to ease aching limbs. Haslington Scouts were on hand to serve food to the returning riders which was made and prepared by the staff and families of the Up and Under Group with extra cakes supplied by Wrights.

Other activities taking place included bike security marking carried out by Cheshire Police and short guided rides lead by the ‘Smarter Ways to Travel’ group. We had a successful draw with prizes coming from a variety of sources including great cycling prizes from JLT Insurance and Giordana plus a recovery ‘meal for four’ from JW Lees Brewary and a food voucher from Cheerbrooks.

The event has two main aims, to get people out having fun on bikes and to raise money to support local disadvantaged youngsters. You can donate to the Foundation here https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/upandunderfoundation

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