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Hereford brothers to cycle John O'Groats to Land's End
12:59pm Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
THIS week four men, with limited cycling experience, embark on a 1000 mile bike ride for a Tour-ific cause.
This kind of thing happens when you try and one-up a marathon-running girlfriend.
Hereford brothers Tom, 23, and Ollie Bohn, 16, along with two of Tom’s college friends, are set to take on the John O’Groats to Lands End challenge to raise money and awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
On hearing that his girlfriend’s nephew, one-year-old Finley Pickering, was diagnosed with SMA, Tom wanted to help.
Discussing fundraising options, Tom’s girlfriend, Lucy Bestwick, suggested running the London Marathon with her friend.
“I didn’t want to be shown up by my girlfriend but I didn’t fancy running,” said Tom. “So somehow, instead of doing 26 miles, I’m doing 1000.”
Despite having no real experience of long-distance riding – neither has any of the team – Tom’s hit the roads hard in training.
Working on a boat in Northern Italy, he filled his weekends clocking up the miles around the area’s coastlines and foothills.
Temperatures may be a little different in northern Scotland and northern England, both experiencing heavy snowfall last week.
“I’ve been checking the weather pretty closely,” said Tom who only arrived back in the country two weeks ago.
"I'm extremely excited to be taking on such a huge challenge, knowing it’s all for such an amazing cause - but I’m a little nervous about having to babysit my brother for 2 weeks.
“To complete something like this with Ollie by my side will be fantastic, I am extremely proud of him."
Set to start from on March 25 these four - the other riders are Edd Parsons, 24, Charles Busnell, 23, from Shropshire - are already the last men standing.
Having rallied a full peloton, numbers have “dropped like flies” as the date got closer and the weather got wetter.
They will now ride the length of the country unsupported, stopping at B and Bs to rest and refuel.
The little man who inspired this, is showing the guys how it’s done – turning 1 last September, Finley is already learning to use his wheelchair.
Sadly SMA currently has no cure and Findley’s life expectancy is 15.
That’s why money raised – the guys are already over £3000 – will go to The Jennifer Trust, which supports both research into the genetic condition, as well as helping individuals and families affected by it.
You can donate through Tom’s fund-raising site at http://www.jtsma.org.uk/finleysfundride and check out a promo video clip at www.finleysfundride.com .