Cycling to support my sister

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A former Harrogate school pupil has set himself a tough challenge to show his support for his sister while she is treated for cancer.

Chris Carter, 29, will be cycling from London to Paris in August to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK.

Despite not having cycled for a decade until he started commuting by bike last summer, Chris decided to take up the challenge last October after his older sister, Suzy, was diagnosed with the disease. Both Chris and Suzy were pupils at St Aidan’s High School and their parents still live in Harrogate.

Chris said: “I’m doing it for my big sister – she’s been such an inspiration to me recently, as she continues her fight against bowel cancer, and has stayed strong throughout the operations and chemotherapy.

“Every day I’m amazed by her resilience and positive attitude.

“I see this challenge as my opportunity to ‘step up’, and show my support for Suzy, and others who suffer from this terrible condition.”

As part of the challenge, father of two Chris must be ready to complete the ride in four days and has been steadily building up the distances he is covering.

“In January, I went for my first 45 mile ride, which took just over three hours, so I started feeling more positive about the ride in August!” he said.

“In recent months, I’ve been regularly completing rides of over 50 miles, and have been covering around 200 miles a week, including commuting every by bike, whatever the weather.

“I hope to increase my distances steadily between now and August, until I reach a level where I can comfortably ride 80-plus miles per day for consecutive days.”

As part of his training, Chris took part in the Great Manchester Cycle on the Monday of the Diamond Jubilee weekend, covering 52 miles around the city.

He said: “I really enjoyed the experience, and finished with a time of two hours and 32 minutes – not too bad for my first event!”

Suzy, 31, who also went to St Aidan’s High School, has undergone several operations and chemotherapy as part of her treatment. She is now recuperating following an operation to remove tumours and a blockage in her small intestine, and Chris has been inspired by how positive she has been, despite her illness.

He set himself a fundraising target of £1,400, but has already beaten that by more than £800 and is hoping for more before the ride begins on August 15. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/chrisgcarter.