Mammouth charity bike ride ends in Sheffield

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A dedicated group of amateur bikers went to wheely great lengths to tackle a gruelling 350-mile cycle ride.

The Lon Las Loonies rode from Sheffield from Llandudno in Wales and back again in just four days to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-service men and women.

The Loonies Loop ride arrived at the charity’s Sheffield base, having departed from Llandudno the previous day. Accompanying the riders were seven volunteers in two support vans.

Richard Griffiths, aged 44, a volunteer and mature student, said: “We had a lovely welcome when we got to Sheffield with lots of people to meet us. And there was a lovely buffet, which the riders appreciated although – in fairness – we were all ready for bed.”

Andrea Hudson, regional fundraiser for Blind Veterans UK, said: “It was amazing to see the Lon Las Loonies cycling up the drive of the Sheffield Blind Veterans UK Centre on their final stint. It was a great sight for our waiting supporters and a fantastic achievement.”

The 25 cyclists have so far raised £10,000 for the charity with their incredible ride, which saw them getting up at 5.30am and riding until 7pm daily. The demanding route saw the North Wales-based group crossing the Peak District and Mow Cop, one of the top 10 climbs in the UK.

Dominic Senger, 42, of the Loonies said: “It was a very challenging ride for everyone and the hills were unbelievable. We climbed 4,000ft in one morning – that’s a lot of climb.”

He added: “It was shattering and, without our support staff, it wouldn’t have been possible. We only had three punctures and three crashes, which was amazing.”