Lions give cycle duo a roaring reception

PEDAL power pushed long-distance charity cyclists further than expected.

Adur East Lions Club members Susan Saunders and Maurice Allen took on the 420-mile challenge from St Austell to Dover, mainly following Sustrans’ National Route 2.

Friends and supporters greet the pair at Sea Lane Caf� in Goring, en route to Shoreham D14182246a

Friends and supporters greet the pair at Sea Lane Caf� in Goring, en route to Shoreham D14182246a

But by the time they arrived in Dover on Saturday, the pair had actually ridden 443 miles, measured on a pedometer on Maurice’s bike.

Susan, who is chairman of the club, said: “Completing the National Cycle Route 2 from St Austell to Dover was certainly a challenge, especially as the average daily mileage turned out to be 44 rather than the expected 35.

“However, it was worth it, not only because of the amount of money raised for LIBRA (Lions International Blood Research Appeal), but because we felt part of two large welcoming families - the Lions and also the CTC (national cycling charity).”

Not only was the mileage greater than expected, but the amount raised will be, too, with £3,500 collected so far and more coming in.

Susan added: “So many people helped us and cycled with us on the way that they are too many to mention. Thank you to them all.”

The pair set off from St Austell on April 22 and arrived in Shoreham last Wednesday, en route to Dover.

During the 45-mile leg to their home town, they stopped off to greet friends and supporters at Sea Lane Café in Goring, where they were cheered and clapped by fellow members of Adur East Lions Club as they crossed Adur Ferry Bridge at 4pm.

Maurice said they had been given a bed for the night at various Lions’ houses along the way and a lot of support in St Austell at the start.

“We have had a really great time,” he added. “It has been a great experience and we have met some really nice people.

“Luckily, we had no mechanical problems. We had a bit of rain and got a bit wet one day but mostly it has been good weather.”

The pair travelled light, with only a set of panniers on each bike for the journey. Mauice said it meant they were sometimes seen in restaurants in their cycling gear, because it was all they had with them, but they were able to wash the kit en route.

The trip was the longest charity cycle yet for the pair, who have previously pedalled for Hounds for Heroes in May 2012.