By Sebastian O’Kelly
I want to thank everyone for their generous support for the charity cycle ride that I completed with my daughter and friends on March 14-15.
Carlex / LKP readers raised £1,020 in sponsorship – which is still open if you click the image above – which was well in excess of the £500 I was aiming for.
There were about 90-odd students from Newcastle taking part, and 13 in our group, cycling 140 miles from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Tynemouth to celebrate the life of medical student Neil Dalton, 22. The reasons are below.
The weather was kind and dry, although there was snow on the mountain tops which we had to climb: Hartside, Killhope Cross and Crawley Side.
We overnighted in freezing Alston and then through Wearside to Newcastle and Tynemouth.
Students being students, our leader had fixed up a sound system so we had motivational music – until it conked out – to the consternation of dog walkers and their whippets (although, rightly enough, Jack Russells seem to be the dog of choice in Cumbria).
And then there were a gang of strapping Geordie youths on the towpath in Newcastle barging past us and being chased by an out-of-breath single policewoman, with a helicopter overhead. Our hope was that they did not double-back and just carry her off with them.
So, as well as the stunning scenery, there was local colour.
It was a wonderful experience, I am very grateful indeed for the support shown by Carlex / LKP readers.
The reasons for the ride are here:
Neil Dalton was killed last summer in Sarawak, Borneo, with his friend Aidan Brunger.
My daughter Emily and two other girls, who are all medical students at Newcastle, had travelled around south-east Asia with Neil before continuing their work placement. They were attached to the local hospital in Kuching, capital of Sarawak, on Borneo, Malaysia.
In the early hours of August 6 2014, Neil and Aidan were killed in a knife attack outside a restaurant. My daughter and the other girls had left the boys an hour before.
A murder trial is concluding in Borneo.
The cycle ride will raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust, which saves the lives of people with blood cancer. Often children.
The ride will take two days on March 14-15 across the north Pennines from Whitehaven to Tynemouth.
I will be riding with Neil’s dad, Phil, and medical students from Newcastle University. Neil’s mum Jan will provide back-up for the “oldies”.
Neil had intended to ride this Coast to Coast route this year, as he strongly supported the work of the Anthony Nolan Trust.
You can donate by clicking on the image above, which links to www.justgiving.com, a large and secure charity fund raising site.
Many thanks for your donations to this important cause.