Louth cyclists to tackle combined 13,000 mile charity ride

No Caption ABCDE
No Caption ABCDE

A group of 14 cyclists from the Louth area are bidding to cover a combined 13,000 miles to raise money for two local causes close to their hearts.

The group, made up of Darren Phillips, Lee Scott, Steve Smith, Darren Barnes, Peter Goy, David Cox, Emily Horton, Ewan Findley, Steve Bailey, Owen Koslow, Adam Grist, Nick Vamplew, Rhea Timmins and Mick Bailey, are planning to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End, 910 long and brutal miles, from May 25.

The aim is to raise money for the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance, as well as a Louth lad whose story will no doubt have already tugged at the heartstrings of many readers.

Harvey Phillips, Darren’s son, was just nine months old when he lost both legs, some of his right arm and his left hand fingers to meningitis in 2005.

And an ambitious plan to buy a pair of carbon fibre legs to aid his mobility, costing between £36,000 and £50,000, has spurred the group of friends into action.

John O’Groats is famously Britain’s most north-eastern land point and Land’s End is the most south-western.

Every year thousands of people take on the challenge via varying modes of transport, and even on foot!

The brave group of cyclists are expecting the ride to take about eight days to complete.

Harvey’s Dad Darren explained: “We are not experienced cyclists, I’d say about half of us are good cyclists and the other half haven’t ridden bikes since we were kids!

“We are all in full training now though with things like spinning classes at the Meridian Leisure Centre.

“We’re doing it to raise some money for the air ambulance but also for Harvey to have new carbon fibre legs, which are not cheap.

“We just want to raise as much money as possible and need the support of the community and businesses.”

Despite his meningitis, Harvey, now eight, continues to live life to the full. He is a member of Louth Old Boys Football Club, and has even taken up ballet in the past.

All donations big or small will spur the group on as they take on those gruelling miles. Visit www.justgiving.com/harvey-philips2012 or text HPAA50 followed by amount you wish to donate to 70070 (ie: HPAA50 £10).

The group are also hoping to receive the backing of some local businesses, and anyone interested can call Darren Phillips on 07854 471495 for more information.