Cyclists embrace the Olympic spirit to raise cash for the NSPCC

BIG EFFORT Cyclists taking part in the Fareham bike ride
BIG EFFORT Cyclists taking part in the Fareham bike ride
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THEY may not have been as fast as Team GB cyclist Mark Cavendish, but that didn’t stop this lot pedalling the streets of Fareham in a fundraising bike ride.

A group of 25 cyclists of all ages took part in the annual 20-mile bike ride on Sunday to raise money for the NSPCC.

BIKER 16-year-old Tom Fowler

BIKER 16-year-old Tom Fowler

Brian Dunlop, 44, of St Thomas Close in Fareham, has organised the bike ride for the past few years.

The route takes cyclists from Fareham along the Meon Valley up to Droxford.

He said: ‘The bike ride is one of the things that I do. I get friends, family and members of the general public to get together and ride together.

‘It’s a fun day out to raise some cash for the charity coffers.

‘There are a lot of people who have done it year in, year out. Everyone enjoys it. It’s nice and safe, and quite picturesque – it’s quite flat.’

This year, the bike ride took place on the same weekend as the Olympic games officially began in London.

The day before, British cyclist Mark Cavendish had taken to the streets of London and Surrey to compete in the men’s cycling road race, unfortunately missing out on a medal.

Brian said he thinks people were inspired by the Games.

‘The date was chosen a while back but it does make it more poignant that the Olympics are going on,’ he said.

‘It’s a time to push forward the point that not a lot of us get on our bikes and get fit.

‘It does inspire you, seeing it on the television, to get out there and get on your bike.

‘It doesn’t matter about the weather or anything else.

‘Exercise and a healthy diet is such an important thing.’

Linda Hopgood, 43, of Thames Drive in Fareham, took part with her husband Adrian, 44, and son Andrew, 10.

She said: ‘It was good fun. It was good to get out and about.

‘My son is a real sporty lad and he thoroughly enjoyed it.’

Brian has been supporting the NSPCC for the past 12 years.

‘It’s something that has always been very close to my heart,’ he added.

‘All children have the right to be loved and to live their life in happiness without the fear of being abused.

‘We have a charity out there who can help look after them.’

It’s not yet known how much has been raised.