‘Short and precious lives’ are boosted by bikers’ 200-mile endurance efforts

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 July 2017

Paul Marshall, pictured with son Douglas after passing the finishing line.

Paul Marshall, pictured with son Douglas after passing the finishing line.


More than 100 cyclists raced into North Somerset on Sunday at the conclusion of an epic 205-mile ride through three counties on behalf of Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

Riders are welcomed home after the Ride for Precious Lives.Riders are welcomed home after the Ride for Precious Lives.

The 106 riders had set off on the Ride For Precious Lives (RFPL) from Cornwall on Friday morning, and reached their destination at the hospice’s Charlton Farm in Wraxall feeling a little saddle sore but pleased with their efforts.

The route – which included overnight stops in Bideford and Taunton – saw them tackle a number of hilly sections, and through some of the West Country’s most picturesque scenery on Exmoor and in Cheddar Gorge.

Portishead’s Paul Marshall was among the CHSW supporters who completed the ride, and said he was pleased to have played a part in fundraising.

Paul said: “I was expecting the ride to be challenging as I have no experience of multiple day rides but I had prepared by riding at weekends, supplemented by spin classes.

Riders return home to a rapturous reception.Riders return home to a rapturous reception.

“Day one was the worst when we hit about 60 miles. There was hill after hill and no time to gain any momentum to get up the hills; it was really tough.

“Day two, which I thought I would really struggle with, was actually good. The team set a good pace and we enjoyed it. The camaraderie was fantastic and we were motivated by hearing stories from families who have used CHSW.

“We were greeted with rapturous applause and cheering as we cycled towards the finish on day three. It was an incredible feeling.”

Tamara Downs, who is the senior fundraiser at Charlton Farm, said: “The riders go on such an emotional and physical journey during RFPL.

“By visiting our hospices and being with families who use our services they hear directly how their fundraising makes a real difference to the children we support.

“Their sponsorship is vital in enabling us to help make the most of short and precious lives.”

Charlton Farm currently supports more than 200 families from Bristol, Bath, Somerset, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire, and costs more than £3million to run each year.

This year, RFPL participants have pledged to raise £80,000 which could pay for six families to have respite care for an entire year.

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