Cyclists show a charitable side

Gordon Harris and Andy Fox at Land's End
Gordon Harris and Andy Fox at Land's End

PEOPLE across the area have been taking to the saddle over the past couple of weeks to raise money for charity.

Both Gordon Harris from Kimberley and a group of people from Giltbrook did charity bike rides in aid of Help for Heroes, and Jeff Beardsley from Nuthall took to the saddle for a gruelling 1,000-mile ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in memory of his wife who died last year.

Jeff Beardsley is about to embark on his final fundraising challenge, a coast-to-coast ride.

Jeff Beardsley is about to embark on his final fundraising challenge, a coast-to-coast ride.

Gordon, 55, embarked on a 300-mile ride from Land’s End to Twickenham in three days, as part of the Great British Bike Ride.

Joined by his friend Andy Fox from Ilkeston, the pair raised £1,700 for Help for Heroes, Rainbow’s Trust Children’s Charity, the Wooden Spoon charity for disadvantaged children, the RFU Injured Players Foundation and the RPA Beneveolent Fund.

Gordon, who lives just off Knowle Hill, said: “I did a 100-mile walk through the Sahara Desert last year for charity and this was harder than that.

“It was fun but I won’t be doing it again in a hurry!”

n A couple from Giltbrook organised a group bike ride to Long Eaton to also raise money for Help for Heroes.

Kim and Martin Page organised the 22-mile challenge ride for a group of ten friends, and a handful more people came on board after they promoted it on Facebook.

Kim said: “We thought it was a good charity to raise for because no-one helps them out and it’s just funded by the public.

“It was brilliant. We’re going to look at doing another one and possibly go a bit further next time.”

The group of 15 went from Decathlon on the Giltbrook Retail Park to Trent Lock and raised £1,300.

n Dad-of-two Jeff Beardsley, 61, has already completed a 60-mile ride from London to Brighton in May, in seven hours, in memory of his wife Sue who died last year,

And this time around he completed a staggering effort the length of the country in 15 days to raise even more cash.

He will next be aiming to complete a 250-mile coast-to-coast ride from Holyhead in Wales to Skegness

Daughter Hannah Exley, of Ilkeston, completed a Three Peaks challenge last October for her mum, who died of ovarian cancer aged 58.

She said she and brother Darren were really proud of their dad.

“The challenges have been something to keep dad focused because it’s been a very difficult time,” she explained.

So far Jeff, of Maple Drive, has raised more than £1,000 for Nottingham University Hospital Breast and Gynae Oncology Research Fund.