Gosport cycler set for 200 mile charity bike ride down the Grand Union canal

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FOR any charity, funding can be difficult to come by, never mind for one that has been set up less than a year.

So Gary Milton decided to raise funds for Spica Warrior, which helps children with developmental dysplasia of the hip, by doing a gruelling 200-mile bike ride.

I’m not really built for cycling and it will be tough. It will take us four days to complete and will not be on tarmac, but a surface that is a mixture of stones, gravel and mud.

Gary Milton

The 49-year-old from Gosport takes part in an annual charity bike ride each year with friends and is hoping to raise £1,000 for the only charity in the country which is dedicated to DDH.

The ride starts on September 12 near the Birmingham Bull Ring and goes along the route of the Grand Union canal.

Gary, a handyman, said: ‘I’m not the typical cyclist who goes out in their Lycra a few times a week. I’m 49, weigh 15 stone and I probably ride about twice a year, so I’m not the fittest bloke in the world.

‘I’m not really built for cycling and it will be tough. It will take us four days to complete and will not be on Tarmac, but a surface that is a mixture of stones, gravel and mud.

‘Riding on gravel means it’s a lot more difficult and it will be a full body workout.

‘The Grand Union canal is something we’ve always been quite keen to do and we will be including the four arms that come off from it at Northampton, Aylesbury, Wendover and Slough.’

On Gary said of DDH: ‘It’s a fairly rare illness that not a lot of people know about. It’s tough on children and parents. Kids are forced to wear near enough a full body cast from under their arms to down by their ankles and it can be difficult to treat.

‘There isn’t a lot out there on DDH and what Spica Warrior is doing is amazing.

‘I was looking for a charity to do the cycle for and it really was a no-brainer given they’ve just started out.’

DDH is a congenital condition that occurs when the ball and socket hip joint fails to develop correctly.

Natalie Trice, 42, set up the charity in November and her son, Lucas, suffers from DDH.

Natalie said: ‘There is so little known about DDH. There’s hardly anything on the internet and more stuff about dogs comes up than humans.

‘It is amazing how little there is out there and our charity is a way of helping parents if their children are diagnosed with DDH.

‘My son, Lucas, was diagnosed at just five months and he had a number of operations and was put into a cast for four months at a time. Because DDH is not a life-threatening illness, it can be easy not to be taken seriously. However, it can lead to problems later in life such as hip replacements as early as 16 and arthritis.

‘We’re so grateful to Gary for what he’s doing. It’s amazing.’

To donate to Gary’s cause, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Gary-Milton2