Boys Canal Bike Ride in Aid of Prostate Cancer
Friday, 10th June 2016
David Scanlon, Nicholas Dean and Roy Pennington are setting off for a circular bike ride around the canal towpaths of the North West. The boys' route takes in the well-known 97 mile 'Cheshire Ring' which, if you travel by boat, will require working through 92 locks on your way. Many canal boaters do the Cheshire Ring in six days, but these boys are built of stronger stuff than the average canal boater. Not for them sitting on a narrow boat for a week, they are going to cycle the whole Cheshire ring PLUS a lengthy excursion into Lancashire and Yorkshire on the Leeds and Liverpool canal. All under their own steam – by pushbike, taking supplies and spare clothing with them on the bike too. And they are doing the whole trip in one week – on their holidays! According to the Canal Route Planner (http://canalplan.co.uk/) this route is just shy of 270 miles and 270 locks.
This is the 8th bike ride in the series that the boys have done – always just boys, bikes and packed saddlebags. And the boys always set themselves the additional challenge of raising money for the Leighton Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group and Awareness Campaign by obtaining sponsorship from friends, family and anyone else who supports this good cause.
Why cycle around canals? Well, the boys were drinking in a pub in Middlewich, a renowned canal centre, when they noticed some prints of canal maps on the wall. They were looking for some good cycle routes and someone suggested "Why not cycle canals?". So they started taking an annual week out in Summer to cycle canal routes.
Why Prostate Cancer? This is where Gary Steele MBE comes in. Seven years ago, Gary went into Nick Dean's family's shoe repair shop "Step-In" (next to the 'Top House' pub in Winsford) one day and started a conversation with Nick, who explained about the bike ride they were about to do. Gary said "While you are cycling the route, why not raise some money for a good cause? And of course Gary's good cause is Prostate Cancer because he chairs the Leighton Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group and Awareness Campaign. All proceeds from the boys' rides go to this group. As well as offering support to families affected by Prostate Cancer, this local group is very active in promoting early diagnosis of Prostate Cancer using PSA tests coupled with risk-based assessment. See http://www.prostateleighton.org.uk
The 8th ride starts on Saturday 25th June, when the boys will make their way from Winsford to the River Weaver and along the riverside path to the Anderton Boat Lift, where they will join the Trent and Mersey canal section forming part of the Cheshire Ring. From then on, it will be canal towpaths for a week before they finish back at Winsford on Saturday 2nd July.
I asked the boys whether they arranged all their overnight stays in advance. They said "No. When it gets towards evening, we just ask around at the place we are whether there is a room at a pub (ideal!) or B&B in the neighbourhood. We always find somewhere, even if we have to pay a bit more for a budget Travelodge or whatever." And a good pub always helps ease the aches and pains of the day's travel.
So the boys are looking for sponsorship for their latest venture. If you can help, why not drop into "Step-In" shoe repair shop next to the Top House pub and sign their sponsorship form.
We wish David, Nick and Roy an enjoayble and successful ride and safe return to Winsford.
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