EIGHT Blokes on Spokes are saddling up for a marathon bike ride.
The group of farmers, a physician and a caravan site owner are using pedal power for a 1,000-mile one-way ride from Beal to Toulon in France.
Peter Brewis, Hugh Burn, Simon Manners, Sebastian Moss, Ian Robertson, Anthony Stoker, Peter Sutherland and Robbie Sutherland are no strangers to tackling cycling feats.
Six years ago their UK charity bike tour from Lands End to John O’Groats, via Ireland, raised £65,000.
The Blokes are holding a major pre-cycle tour fund-raising event, The Bash at Belford, at Easington Grange Farm, on Saturday, May 21 – a night of dancing, drinking and hog roasts. Tickets cost £20 and are available from www.8bos.co.uk
Every penny raised at this event will be donated to their two adopted charities – The Stoma Nurse Specialists, which cares for children with bowel and bladder disorders, and The Wooden Spoon, the charity of British and Irish rugby supporting mentally, physically or socially disadvantaged children.
The charities have been chosen because they have a personal link with the Blokes.
Grace Manners, the daughter of Simon and Barbara Manners, underwent surgery shortly after she was born to remove a tumour which was attached to her bowel and bladder. As a result, Grace has been left doubly incontinent.
Stoma specialist nurses support and care for children with bowel and bladder disorders and help to manage their conditions at home, at school and in hospital.
Simon said: “Grace has a life-long condition which is very rarely in the public eye but has a huge impact on her day-to-day and family life. The help and support of the girls at the RVI Stoma Unit has been invaluable to our family over the last five years. By supporting this charity we are hoping to raise awareness of what we feel is an under-recognised condition.”
As all the Blokes are former rugby players, The Wooden Spoon is a charity that is very important to them.
They already have a number of sponsors, including the Barn at Beal, Alnwick Marquees, Lindisfarne Oysters and S Kirkup Livestock, and a back-up team of Ian Manners, David Burn and David Craig.
To buy tickets for The Bash at Belford, visit www.8bos.co.uk or ring Hugh Burn on 01289 388223.