06:00 Thursday 22 May 2014

Ely trio's 1,000-mile cycle ride to raise funds for Blue Smile and Ormiston charities

Written byJORDAN DAY

From left: Richard Marley, Michael Sheridan and Mark Shirley. From left: Richard Marley, Michael Sheridan and Mark Shirley.

Three men are attempting to cycle the length of the country to raise much-needed funds for two children’s charities.

Friends Richard Marley, 50, Mark Shirley, 40, and Michael Sheridan, 50, have been planning to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats for around two years.

And after months of intensive training, the intrepid trio, who all live in Ely, finally start the mammoth ride on Saturday (May 31).

The gruelling challenge will see them cycling approximately 1,000 miles in just 12 days.

They will be using their pedal power to raise funds for two local charities - Blue Smile, which supports young people with mental health issues, and Ormiston, which helps disadvantaged children.

Richard, of Alexander Chase, said: “I suppose we’re three men who are all going through a bit of a mid-life crisis.

“Our wives won’t let us have fast cars or fast women so we’ve decided to do this instead.

“We’ve actually been planning the ride for around two years and finally set a date a little while ago after finding a slot which worked for us all.

“We’re all in reasonably good shape as we all play sport. Mark and I play for Ely Hockey Club and Michael is a keen cyclist, training with Newmarket Cycling Club.

“We’ve been training lots and have gradually been building up the miles - it’s more the sitting on the bike for so long which I think is going to be the toughest challenge.

“Our aim is obviously to complete the challenge but also to raise as much as we can for the charities - both of which do a fantastic job supporting young people in our area.

“We’ve already raised over £2,500 for Blue Smile which is more than we ever expected so we’d like to thank everyone for their amazing generosity so far.”

To donate to Blue Smile, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/bikesandapump.

To donate to Ormiston, go to https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/richardandmarkbikesandapump1.

To follow the trio’s progress on Twitter, search @bikesandapump.

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