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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Cumbrian cyclists on road, from eight to 80

There are more than 70 years between them but Alan Bonner and Kieran Takacs are both taking part in a charity cycle next month.

Veteran cyclist Alan, who is 82 years old, is riding the bike he bought when he was just 17 in Jennings Rivers Ride.

And the Great Broughton pensioner won’t be alone in his 55-mile adventure as his son, grandson and brother-in-law will all be pulling on their helmets for the challenge.

Kieran – a few decades younger than Alan – will be celebrating his eighth birthday in style by completing the 10-mile family ride.

The Whitehaven youngster signed up to the event, organised by Cumbria Community Foundation, with his dad last September. But the ride was called off due to bad weather and is now rescheduled for May 25.

Kieran said: “I am really excited about doing the Family Fun Route and treasure hunt with my dad. This is going to be the best birthday day out ever!”

Alan and his family are all “mad-keen cyclists” and have previously ridden the 40-mile community circuit route of the event.

The 65-year-old bike that Alan will be riding is the original frame and parts, with new tyres fitted.

Speaking about his challenge, he said: “I usually cycle 100 miles a week, outside if possible, but I use the turbo trainer when the weather isn’t brilliant.

“We thought we’d try a longer ride this year, even though it is earlier in the season.”

The Jennings Rivers Ride, which starts at Keswick, is held to raise money for the charitable work of Cumbria Community Foundation, which makes grants to local charities and people in need.

Trustee Chris Tomlinson has completed the ride twice and is this year, blogging about her training.

She said: “We were so disappointed to have to cancel it last year, but it is great that people are back on their bikes, more determined than ever to be involved again.

“The sense of camaraderie and friendship on the day between helpers and riders makes it fun for all and everyone benefits from the knowledge that we are providing real, tangible help to those in Cumbria who need it most.”

The charity still needs volunteers to help marshal the routes, call 01900 825760 if interested.

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