Families gearing up for charity challenge
GET out your bike, keep fit and help others at the same time by joining the MS Trust Charity Cycle Ride. Organisers believe it is the first time that anyone has arranged a ride around Letchworth GC s Green-way, taking in 10 miles of the circuit that surro
GET out your bike, keep fit and help others at the same time by joining the MS Trust Charity Cycle Ride.
Organisers believe it is the first time that anyone has arranged a ride around Letchworth GC's Green-way, taking in 10 miles of the circuit that surrounds the town.
The idea was the brainchild of MS Trust fundraiser Dawn Fry who was forced to get on her bike when she started courting her husband Jo many years ago.
"He's a mad cyclist, he loves it," she said. "The first time I came to visit him in Hitchin, I had to go on a 10-mile bike ride which was serious stuff for me.
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"I went into the office next day like John Wayne."
The couple's three children, Tom who is nine, seven-year-old Jack and Ruby, three, will be taking part in the ride on June 11, although Ruby will be riding the easy way, sitting on her dad's bike.
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"This is not a race, we want it to be fun. We hope people will take picnics if they want and they don't have to get sponsorship," said Dawn, who works at the trust's national head office in the Spirella Building, Letchworth GC, with chief executive Chris Jones who was a co-founder of the organisation and has MS herself.
Chris is anxious to dispel some of the common ideas about MS. "It doesn't necessarily mean a wheelchair and all the worst images that come into your head," she said.
"People with MS can do sport and pastimes. I was diagnosed when I was 29 and I thought that was it, I'll order the wheelchair now and all the plans I had made were shelved.
"I've had it nearly 30 years and I know an awful lot of people who don't go around saying 'I've got MS' and you would not know. It's not true that nothing can be done now, there are treatments."
The MS Trust runs an information line manned by some of the 20 full and part-time employees who are based at Spirella but serve the entire country. Its website is visited 35,000 times a month and the Trust is often consulted by health professionals. It also runs fundraising events such as parachute jumps and this year it is staging its first trek, to Peru.
If you would like to take part in the ride on June 11, which starts at 10.30am at Standalone Farm, you can either turn up on the day or enrol first by calling Dawn on 01462 476707.
Free water and energy bars will be supplied and there are regular stopping places around the Greenway. There is a £5 entry fee for individuals or £15 for families.
The MS Trust website is on www.mstrust.org.uk and you can call them for advice on 01462 476700.