A group of fitness fanatics from Coventry have kick started their bid to raise thousands of pounds for charity with a mammoth cycle ride around the West Midlands.
Niki Stinson, who is a Personal Trainer based in Coventry, is joined regularly by Julie Calcott, Steve Calcott, Jodi-Leigh Freeman, Gary Hopkins and Andy Lenton.
After raising more than £11,000 for different charities over the past two years, the group is looking to surpass the £20,000 mark over the next 12 months – which started with a 150-mile cycle ride around the West Midlands, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire on Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3.
The proceeds from this year’s activities will be shared between the Alzheimer’s Society, which helps those affected by dementia, and Parkinsons UK, which supports and empowers thousands of people living with the condition.
The group began their journey from Coventry’s War Memorial Park, doing a 78 mile circular route out to Chipping Campden and back to Coventry. On Sunday the group did a further 73 miles on Sunday, heading out towards Draycote Water before returning to the Memorial Park.
Julie Calcott, 61, was the oldest participant and had been training for the cycling challenge for four months while juggling her day job as a partner at Coventry law firm Band Hatton Button.
She said: “I’ve had my knee replaced recently but cycling doesn’t apply any pressure on it so this was a great way of helping me to stay active, while helping to make a difference.
“Before the cycle ride I had managed to cycle 66 miles, but on a fairly flat route, in one go, so I was a bit nervous about how I would find it, especially with all the hills around Chipping Campden. It was a difficult task but in the end we all managed to complete each day in around seven hours.
“I think the whole team is feeling very proud of its achievement and for the money being raised, if not a little tired and ‘saddle sore!’”
Other planned activities so far include a 1000 burpee challenge, and in April 2018 two of the team will be running the London Marathon.
Niki Stinson – who lost six stone in 18 months before becoming a personal trainer – is the driving force behind the group’s charity challenges.
In year one, the group raised £8,000 for Bethany’s Wish and Myton Hospice through activities such as cycling and running from Coventry to Land’s End, while in year two around £3,000 was raised for the British Lung Foundation by running between Coventry and Liverpool.
Niki added: “Everyone wins from these challenges. It’s an opportunity for people from all different ages and backgrounds to come together to exercise, have fun and raise money for some worthy causes”.
The cycle ride is one of a number of activities we have planned over the next few months to help us pass the £20,000 mark. In October, we are also looking for children to complete 100 burpees and adults to complete 1,000 burpees so please get in touch if you can help.
“In March next year I will also be trying to beat the world record for the most chest to floor burpees in one hour, so the above challenge will help me with my training”
Donations can be made by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/WheelieTyred2018
Photo caption: From left, Gary Hopkins, Andy Lenton, Niki Stinson, Steve Calcott, Julie Calcott and Jodi-Leigh Freeman