Uckfield bikers hope rain in Spain stays away

Team Lonbar members prepare for their marathon bike ride. FitzGerald Photographic
Team Lonbar members prepare for their marathon bike ride. FitzGerald Photographic

There’s a big bike ride going on.

No, not just the Tour de France - but a superhuman effort by a team of super-fit riders from Uckfield who are gearing up to take part in a charity bike ride from London to Barcelona this month.

Team Lonbar is a group of seven intrepid cyclists - all from Uckfield - who are led by local firm TR Fastening’s quality director Ian Carlton.

They are preparing to undertake the gruelling challenge of a 1,000 mile bike ride to raise £7,000 for Chestnut Tree House, the only hospice for children and young adults in Sussex.

Alongside Ian are David Wells and five members of the Chatfield family, including Grant, Liz, James, Harry and Millie. The team is sponsored by TR Fastenings, which has provided cycling kit and a support van, which will be manned by family and friends who’ll ensure the team is fed and watered each day.

They set off on July 13 from the foot of Big Ben in London and plan to arrive in Barcelona on July 22. Averaging between 56 and 128 miles a day, the cyclists’ route will take them first to Portsmouth, then over the Channel to Caen, down through France, across the Pyrenees (which stand 2,300 metres above sea level) to Andorra and along the east coast of Spain to Barcelona.

The cyclists aim to raise £7,000 for Chestnut Tree House, enough to cover all the care costs for 24 hours, both at the hospice and in the community in families’ own homes. Sarah Arnold, fundraising manager, said: “At Chestnut Tree House, every day is unique and every day something wonderful and special happens.

“The day Team LonBar choose to pay for with their donation could be the most precious day for a child and family and we are very grateful to them all for undertaking this ride to support us.”

Ian Carlton said: “After the success of the Lands End to John O’Groats charity ride for Chestnut Tree House in 2012 we decided to look for an even bigger challenge - and this is it.

“We are hugely grateful for the support we have received from TR Fastenings and our generous sponsors.

“We not only want to hit our target, but exceed it.

“So please visit our Just Giving page if you’d like to donate.”