Malcolm Carline and Darren Sables set off on their journey yesterday and are hoping to reach their destination on Sunday before making the gruelling journey back.
Darren, aged 29, of Edlington, is visually impaired and knows only too well how invaluable a guide dog can be after welcoming his own puppy, Luther, into his family two years ago.
Darren, who is blind in one eye and has vision problems in the other, said: “Having a guide dog has given me freedom. It means you don’t always have to rely on other people.
“Guide Dogs UK gets no government funding and relies completely on public support so we are trying to raise £5,000, which will pay for a puppy to be trained.
“It is quite daunting but with Malcolm cycling in front of me leading the way I’ll be fine.”
It was Darren’s 69-year-old pal, Malcolm, who came up with the ambitious idea to take on the cycle ride to Budleigh Salterton in Devon.
He said: “My sister lives there so I thought, ‘Why not cycle there and then we can spend a week at my sister’s, recovering, before we come back.’
“We are hoping to complete 50 to 60 miles a day and camp on the way as we don’t want to have to spend any money.
“I think our friends and family did think we were mad when we told them what we were planning to do.”
Malcolm decided to raise cash for the charity after witnessing first hand the impact a guide dog had on Darren’s life.
He said: “To see how people react – having spent time using a white stick to get about their daily lives then suddenly acquiring a seeing eye dog – is worth all the hard work put in by volunteer puppy walkers and trainers.
“Money cannot buy that kind of happiness.
“But this is the real world, where governments don’t support such causes, so we the general public have to step up and help in any way we can.
“So please help me and Darren to raise money for this very worthy cause, which is so close to our hearts, and to give someone else the new freedom it gave to Darren.”
n To donate visit https://goo.gl/ieZP3O or https://goo.gl/1LZIxc or search Malc & Darren’s Guide Dogs Charity Ride on Facebook.