Saturday, 28 November 2015

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Cumbrian celebrates 50th birthday with a 950-mile ride

WHILE many people mark their 50th birthday with a party or a night out with their mates, Cleator Moor man Bob Riley has decided to go a bit further – 950 miles in fact – and cycle from one end of the country to the other.

Ready to roll: Bob Riley, Alan Reed and Andrew Scrugham

He plans to complete his challenge in an impressive eight days and hopes to raise lots of money for three charities.

Bob, of Howthorne Fields, will be setting off from Land’s End on May 20, along with his friend, Andrew Scrugham, 43, of Whitehaven.

They plan to cycle approximately 120 miles a day for the following eight days, arriving in John O’Groats on May 27.

Father-of-two Bob has worked at Sellafield for 33 years and is the head coach with Cumberland Fellrunners juniors.

He said: “Sadly, last year I lost one of my juniors who had a tumour aged just five years.

“Wilf Grove was a lovely wee lad and, since he has passed away, his mother, Fiona, has set up a charity over at the RVI hospital at Newcastle where Wilf was cared for.

“The charity, called Booktastic, has created a mobile library for the children and parents at the hospital.

“The second charity we are riding for is the Great North Air Ambulance. One of my close friend’s daughters, Beth Martindale, was airlifted to hospital following the Keswick bus crash last year. She was very lucky to have her arm saved – she has had several operations and has only limited movement.

“The final charity is Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team. The father of two of the girls that run in our club, Mike Park, is the team leader.

“Mike and his team, supported by a whole host of volunteers, played a major part in the floods.”

Bob and Andrew will be supported by a van driven by Alan Reed, of Bigrigg. The vehicle is being supplied by Sellafield Ltd; Atkins at Westlakes have paid for the fuel and also sponsored the riders.

Bob said: “I would like to thank family and friends who have sponsored us so far, as well as Energy Solutions Ltd, J Edgar and Sons and Keswick Mountain Bikes.”

He has a website with details of his challenge ( Anyone wishing to sponsor Bob contact him at or telephone 01946 817585.


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