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Hometown support for charity marathon riders
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
BROTHERS ON BIKES: Chris Williams, alongside brothers Sam and Ollie Turner pictured with close friend and cancer sufferer, John Massen, one of the people who inspired their bike ride from john O’Groat’s to Land’s End
THE streets were lined with flags and banners as three youngsters, also known as the ‘Brothers on Bikes’ cycled through Ottery St Mary after a gruelling ride from John O’Groats, on their way to Land’s End.
Despite the pouring rain, many Ottery residents turned out to support the cycling group, baking cakes, waving flags, flying banners and cheering as they cycled into the high street.
Chris Williams, aged 17 from Ottery St Mary and his cousins, brothers Sam,15, and Ollie Turner, 14, from Sidmouth have spent eleven days riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for three cancer charities.
Supporting Sidmouth Hospiscare, Hospiscare (Devon) and Cancer Research UK, the boys worked hard to fundraise with a series of events before the bike ride and through sponsorship.
Last November, Sam and Ollie’s uncle, Malcolm Turner, lost his fight against cancer at the age of 67. Weeks before his death, Malcolm found out his cancer was terminal and decided to pass over his possessions to his family.
As a keen cyclist, Malcolm chose to hand Ollie his bicycle and explained that he had always wished to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End but sadly never got the chance.
Inspired by their uncle’s passion for cycling, and knowing that a close friend, John Massen, had also commenced a fight against cancer, the boys decided to take on the gruelling challenge.
No strangers to cycling, the boys were accompanied by their father who is a local police sergeant, and a close friend of their uncle’s, Geoff Hadley, as well as a support crew of five who helped with the fundraising.
Throughout their bike ride, the fundraising group have been given a great amount of support, with planned stops when people have provided them with overwhelming kindness from free meals to discounted places to stay for the night.
Radio stations along the route have also plugged their efforts, generating support across the country and boosting funds.
The young fundraisers were suprised and delighted to receive royal approval in letters from Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry as well as from the Prime Minster at 10 Downing Street.
Highlights for the boys included the spectacular scenery at Glencoe and seeing the highest point at Shap Fell, as well as arriving in Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth for a warm family welcome.
Along the route the group met many fellow cyclists, also on the same route, and many joined in to support the charity work.
One cyclist joined the boys in Bristol and said: “I rode with the guys from Bristol yesterday and we had a great time despite the challenging conditions towards the end and an extra 10 miles.
“The three boys are a credit to not only their uncle but also to all of those of you who have supported them. They are kind, considerate, humble and selfless always thinking of others before themselves. On more than one occasion they made comments which showed maturity and humility beyond their years.
“Lads I salute you and look forward to riding with you again soon.”
For Chris Williams, his hometown of Ottery St Mary was a welcome sight, and he was overwhelmed with the support he and his cousins had received locally and on a national scale.
He said:"It has been a massive challenge for all of us, and although we are all keen cyclists, it has still been at times a difficult job for all of us.
“On behalf of all of us, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us in some way and it has been so nice to come home, see our families and see some familiar sites to get us through the last section of our ride.”
To support the Brothers on Bikes, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/brothersonbikes or search for brothers on bikes on facebook.
All content © of Pulmans Weekly News unless stated otherwise.
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