A group of friends who embarked on a Coast to Coast cycle ride have raised £1,500 for a life-saving charity.
Seven chums took on the Way of the Roses route in a bid to raise vital cash for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS). The ride stretched from Morecambe to Bridlington and passed through Lancaster, Settle, Pateley Bridge, Ripon and York.
The team – Richard Thornton, Craig Rye, Chris Dale, and Neil Thornton, all from Ingleby Barwick, peddled alongside Mick Thornton from Skelton in Cleveland, Fyzal Kirk from Durham, and David Wilson from York in the 180-mile slog.
Richard Thornton, 27, said: “We came up with the idea in the pub and then it spiralled from there. None of us are professional cyclists but we wanted to take on the challenge in aid of this fantastic cause.
“The most challenging part of the ride was the climb out of Settle but the pain of the journey quickly faded once we had finished the final leg and were enjoying fish and chips and a pint of beer.”
Richard’s wife, Natalie, an anaesthetics nurse at James Cook University Hospital, knows the importance of GNAAS. He said: “She appreciates the great work that they carry out and with the recent addition of blood-on-board, it makes a real difference. It was a no-brainer to show our support.”
Natalie, along with Richard’s mother, Kathryn Thornton, and sister’s Charlotte and Eleanor Thornton, ferried the group’s bags throughout the trip to each of their stop-off points.
Richard said: “They drove for hours so that we could complete the challenge and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Fellow cyclist, Fyzal Kirk, 39, said: “We endured three days of pain, gain, thrills, spills, stunning scenery and plenty of laughter with some incredible people. It was an exhilarating experience that brought us closer together.”
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS said: “We want to thank the group for supporting us in this impressive feat. They had great fun alongside their hard work and it paid off. The funds raised will go directly towards saving more lives.”