Text message leads to 100 mile charity ride from Southwold to Stevenage

“WOULD you like to do something crazy?”

That was the question Tony Black, of Wheatlands, Stevenage, asked in a text message sent to three friends in April.

Four months on that question has now been answered as Tony, along with Gary Anderson of Lomond Way, Stevenage, and two friends from Wiltshire completed a 100 mile charity bike ride from Southwold in Suffolk to Stevenage.

Tony, who works at Custom Electronic in Pin Green, received his first ‘donation’ from a customer at the store, Ian Felmore, managing director of Baldock-based firm Steri-Spray, who offered to give them a free lift to Southwold Pier.

After readying themselves for the challenge, the team of four set off from Southwold at 6am last Saturday, August 1, arriving at the finishing point at King George V Playing Fields just under eight hours later.

As a result of the trip, in which 27-year-old Gary navigated the team throughout, so far more than �1,100 has been raised for Whizz-Kidz, a charity which supports young disabled people to ensure they get the mobility equipment they need to be independent.

The journey was not straight forward though and two bikes are now beyond repair, as Anthony himself explained.

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The 28-year-old said: “In four months of training and completing 1,300 miles we had no problems.

“Then a mile and a half down the road a spoke snapped on my rear wheel, another two miles later another snapped, and many other spokes had bent, as had the wheel!

“After 40 miles on a collapsed wheel we arrived at Needham Market (in Suffolk) where we met family and friends.

“We changed the wheel, and set off once more.

“100 miles, 62 towns and villages, and a lot of sweat later - we arrived in Stevenage with a total riding time of less than eight hours!”

Tony added: “We’re just four average guys who play a lot of computer games so if we can do this, anybody can do it.”

Kay Aslett, regional fundraiser and volunteer manager for Whizz Kids, said: “Tony and the guys are what makes our fundraisers great - very inspired and dedicated, with a definite sense of adventure!

“We are so grateful to them for raising over �1,000 which will be used to give local disabled children the chance to be adventurous in their own way, and be independent to live full and fun childhoods.”

You can still sponsor the quartet’s 100 mile bike ride by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/100MilesForWhizzKidz