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    Harper pair seeking support for charity ride

    Posted 22 August 2008

    Matt, left, and Richi at Harper Adams

    Two Harper Adams IT workers will be swapping bytes for bikes next month when they embark upon a 250-mile charity cycle.

    Richi Jenkin, 30, from Market Drayton, and Matt Lea, 20, from Hodnet, both IT support technicians at the University College, plan to pedal from Market Drayton to Paignton in Devon, starting on September 6.

    Newlywed Richi said: “I have family down in Devon and I have wanted to do the bike ride since I was 12. Matt said we might as well see how much money we could raise in the process and so it became a charity challenge.

    “We are doing it in aid of the Lingen Davies Cancer Relief Fund. We chose a cancer charity because Matt’s mother passed away due to cancer when he was six in 1994. Lingen Davies provides buildings, equipment and services for the treatment and relief of cancer patients in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Their current appeal aims to raise £3.2 million to build a new cancer centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

    “So far we have raised £500 towards it and one kind couple are even sponsoring us a pound a mile, which should put the donations up to £750. Our target is £1,000, so we’d be really grateful for more support.”

    Every penny of the money raised will go to the charity, as Matt and Richi are funding the trip themselves. They have already bought all the equipment they need, and will be supported all the way by Richi’s wife Katie, 26, an ICU nurse at Telford, who will be going ahead in the car, carrying bike spares and seeking available campsites and B&Bs.

    The pair expect to complete the distance in three days, doing about 85 miles each day. They have already clocked up approximately 2,000 miles in training since March, and have been completing a minimum of 20 miles a day, up to 100 miles at weekends, for the last few weeks.

    But they still have some worries, such tackling the Devon hills, getting saddle sores and having to tackle any bad weather

    Asked what they were looking forward to, Matt said: “Finishing! We’ll get this first long-distance ride over with first, but we have already been thinking about what to do next. Perhaps Market Drayton to John O’Groats next year. . .”

    To support Richi and Matt visit or call Richi on 01952 815370

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