Here's how you can support two remarkable Ripon men who are cycling 280 miles for charity

Just some of the amazing cyclists taking part.
Just some of the amazing cyclists taking part.

Cycling more than 280 miles across the country is no mean feat - but it's the mammoth challenge that two hardy Ripon men are undertaking to raise money for a very important cause.

Friends Gareth Smith and James Hare will set off with a contingent of 16 other remarkable cyclists from Harrogate's Valley Gardens at 8am on Friday, to cycle to Tenby in Pembrokeshire - aiming to arrive at their destination within just 36 hours to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.

The bike ride is in memory of Eddie and Sue Hare, James's grandparents. Friends and other relatives of Mr and Mrs Hare will also be taking part in the challenge.

Gareth said: "I'm excited about taking part in this ride, but I am fairly nervous too, given the size of what we are all trying to accomplish.

"It's going to be a massive challenge. Personally I'm more worried about having to stay awake for 36 hours than the actual distance involve - everyone involved has been training in their own ways for months now, but no amount of preparation can ready us for cycling 280 miles non-stop.

"Dai Morgan who has organised the ride, and the rest of the guys from Tenby all know each other really well, and James Hare and myself - the Ripon contingent - have been good friends for a long time, so I'm fairly certain that there will be plenty of banter and encouragement to keep us going along the way and, at the end of the day, it's not a race. We have a great support group to help us if anybody is struggling at any point.

"I'm looking forward to actually finishing the ride in one piece after the effort that's been put in to get ready for it. Everyone involved has been training very hard for six months or more now. I'm sure some of us will be quite relieved once the ride gets under way."

Ripon residents are invited to show their support for Gareth and James and the 16 other amazing cyclists by attending a celebratory good luck event at The Magdalens pub on Thursday night from 6pm, which will also raise funds for the British Heart Foundation with food, entertainment and a raffle.

David Morgan, who has organised the bike ride, said: "I am nervous but excited about the ride. I think the thing that will keep me going to the end is this is personal - my grandfather Eddie Hare inspired me through out my life, and feel I can do it for him.

"Over the past couple of weeks the support has gone mad, whether it's been through messages, on our Facebook page, or through donations online. Between online and offline donations and a few charity events, we have raised nearly £4,000, and our target was £2,500. I am totally blown away with the support, and want to thank everyone who has supported us."

Click here to sponsor Gareth and James and the team of cyclists.