THREE best friends are gearing up for a mammoth 2,448 mile charity cycle trip along America’s famous Route 66.
Ewan Stott, James Watkins and Will Corran, all aged 23, embark on their gruelling ‘Cycle 66’ challenge on a three-seater bike in aid of Cheshire Young Carers, Cancer Research UK and the Mark Evison Foundation.
The trio - who became friends at Bishop Heber High School in Malpas - will be writing a regular online blog during their efforts.
Will has penned the opening blog as they get ready for the challenge of a lifetime...
With the days counting down to the start date of September 5, training is in full swing.
All members of our team are consistently exceeding 60-mile rides, tackling the likes of Hope Mountain and the Horseshoe Pass to prepare both physically and mentally for the challenge ahead.
Having grown up together, knowing each other from as young as seven and all attending Bishop Heber High School, we have developed a strong friendship which will truly be tested using one bike.
Frequent trips to Llandegla mountain biking have given us a base upon which to build, although attempting to do 100 miles in a day for the first time was extremely challenging, experiencing our own bodies 'searching' for an energy source to keep the pedals turning.
It was only during these long rides that we discovered the importance of nutrition and pacing to ensure we had enough energy to cover the desired distance.
The first long distance ride we attempted resulted in a team member having to call a parent to be escorted to the nearest McDonalds! (We won’t mention any names!)
After conceiving the idea back in December 2014, we have had our fair share of setbacks along the way.
James broke his back just weeks before the original start date and almost losing the triplet bike altogether.
However, his recovery and determination to get back in the saddle after the accident has inspired us all to finish what we started and to justify the sponsorship we have gained.
Working together on a triplet tandem bike, we hope to show that even normal young people can overcome any obstacle and prevail through adversity.
We have chosen these charities carefully. As young adults we can appreciate the hardship that teenagers face taking care of older family members in our local community.
A further contributing factor is that both James’ mum and my own continue to battle with cancer.
This year our dream has become a reality thanks to financial support and backing from The Mark Evison Foundation, who trust in us to raise a life-changing amount of money.
We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us and/or donated towards our three chosen charities - Cancer Research UK, Cheshire Young Carers and The Mark Evison Foundation.
During a hugely successful fundraising weekend we managed to raise a grand total of £915.79, with help from Deva Travel and The Body Shop in Chester, which really demonstrated the good nature of people in the Chester area.
We encourage anyone who is interested in our trip to take a look at our website - www.cycle66.org - where more details about the trip and ourselves can be found along with the charities we are supporting.
Donations can be made at www.virginmoneygiving.com/cycle66.
Any support is hugely appreciated and each contribution is helping us climb nearer to our £5,000 target.
See full story in the Chester Leader