A year ago the self-proclaimed ‘Fat Lads from Dore’ were cycling novices.
But, spurred on by watching the Tour de France in Sheffield, the team decided to purchase road bikes, get fit and ride from London to Paris in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s Make It Better appeal.
After raising over £40,000 to provide a new bedroom for young patients, and preparing for the 300-mile, four-day trip with several demanding training rides, the big challenge is now under way.
James Hope-Gill - a member of the group along with Pete Everitt, Craig Smith, Matthew Currie and Dean Dove - said all five were ‘really excited’ about the ride, ‘with a little bit of nervousness thrown in’.
“None of us have ever ridden that distance or had four consecutive days in the saddle so we’re not quite sure how we’ll get on,” said James, who runs sports consultancy firm Onside Consulting.
The ‘Fat Lads’ have trained by completing a coast-to-coast ride from Morecambe to Bridlington, as well as taking part in the Ride for Eric around the Peaks earlier this month.
“It went well and so we are raring to go,” James added.
“We’re absolutely delighted at the incredible support and generosity shown by the people of Sheffield so far. We’ve managed to raise just over £40,000, and would love to reach £50,000 so we can provide two rooms at the children’s hospital.”
Fundraising activities have included a charity auction, which attracted star names including Olympic heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The riders are due to arrive in Paris on Sunday.
n Visit www.justgiving.com/fatladsfromdore to donate.