Two friends to cycle length of the country for charity

James Gisbourne, 23, of Southsea, and James Finch, 22, of Eastney
James Gisbourne, 23, of Southsea, and James Finch, 22, of Eastney
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Two friends are cycling the length of the country in aid of a hospice and firefighters’ charity.

James Gisbourne and James Finch will set off from Land’s End in Cornwall on Monday and are aiming to reach John O’Groats in Scotland in just 13 days.

What began as a personal challenge for the two keen cyclists has now become a charity fundraising effort for The Rowan’s Hospice in Purbrook and The Fire Fighters Charity.

Their 1,096-mile effort is being supported by the pair’s employer Portsmouth-based firm The Car Finance Company.

James Gisbourne, 23, said: ‘Me and James were thinking that we wanted a personal challenge and something that we could be proud of in years to come.

‘I spoke to Mark Smith, the director, and dropped the hint that we might need some gear and he said “send us a list of what you need”.’

The two friends will be doing 
the entire route on fixed-gear track bikes.

‘It was a personal challenge but if we can raise money for charity it’s a bonus. They’re great causes,’ added James.

James Finch’s dad used to be in the fire service and three fire stations on the route have agreed to let the pair use their facilities to shower and sleep overnight.

James Finch, 22, said: ‘We were hoping the fire stations would say yes but at the end of the day they are under no obligation so it was great that they did. I’m a bit nervous but we’re feeling good about it.’

The Jameses have set up two Just Giving pages, one for each charity.

To donate to The Rowan’s, visit

Anyone interested in donating to The Fire Fighters Charity should visit