Riders battle fog and rain to help charity

Mountain bikers raced 20 miles off road from Ditchling to Seaford.
Mountain bikers raced 20 miles off road from Ditchling to Seaford.

A CHARITY bike ride which saw almost 90 cyclists cover 20 miles off road from Ditchling Beacon to Seaford raised more than £2,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Clint and Lorna Allen, whose daughter Nicole, aged 14, has Cystic Fibrosis, organised the event to raise funds for the charity.

The couple have been fundraising tirelessly to help medical trials get underway for a drug which could change the lives of many CF sufferers.

Clint and Lorna said: “It is events like this that helped to raise £2.3m for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust which in turn helped it to secure £3.1m funding from the Medical Research Council for the Gene Therapy Trials. The trials are now due to start in May 2012 with results due in 2014.

“This is ground-breaking research and the most exciting development in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis ever.”

Lorna said the treatment could mean CF sufferers would have a longer life expectancy, would not need lung transplants and could reduce the drugs they were taking to treat their illness.

The weather was not kind to the riders, with fog and rain reducing visibility to only about 3m.

However the ground was good from the previously dry weather and the riders made it back to the Downs Leisure Centre within four and a half hours, despite punctures and technical hitches.

The fastest team home, Are we at the pub yet, made it back in 2 hours 1 minute, closely followed by last years’ winners, The Shoreham Trojans, in 2 hours 3 minutes. Third was the team from Mr Cycles in 2 hours 8 minutes.

The couple thanked Rod from Mr Cycles who provided prizes, along with energy bars for every rider, Sean Garrick who made a personal donation which covered costs of food and drink for the cyclists when they reached the Downs Leisure Centre and everyone for taking part.

The total raised on Saturday March 17 was a staggering £2,133.00.

Their next fundraising event will be when popular band Tongue and Groove play at Seaford Constitutional Club on Saturday April 28. For tickets call 01323 891614.