Bums on Bikes saddle up for John O’Groats with 303 years between them
With a combined age of 303, you’d be forgiven for thinking that six cyclists might enjoy putting their feet up.
But this team of six, calling themselves Bums on Bikes, are tackling the Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle challenge, covering 1,000 miles and climbing the height of Mt Everest in 12 days.They have also pledged to raise more than £100,000 for the charity Bowel & Cancer Research.
Leading the pack between June 10 and 22 is bowel cancer survivor Paul Reynolds, 53, who is also the chair of the charity.
“Age is no barrier when you have a mission in mind,” he said.
His team consists of investment specialist Julian Cripps, 54, charities director Charles Mesquita, 53, GP William Ridsdill Smith, 49, investment officer Ian Prideaux, 61, and osteopath Doug Tannahill, just 33.
All have their own reason for taking part.
For Paul, it was personal. The investment specialist took up cycling in 2009 after a year of successful treatment for bowel cancer and fell in love with the sport. He has since taken part in cycle challenges all over the world including the Ride London twice and the beautiful Cape Argus cycle ride in South Africa.
The Bums on Bikes challenge marks the 10th anniversary of his diagnosis of stage 3 bowel cancer when he was aged 42.
“I was one of the lucky ones. I’m only here today because of the significant research and resulting advances in medicine and surgery over the 20 years leading up to my diagnosis. I owe a huge debt to all the scientists responsible and the people who financed them,” he said.
“I’m passionate about the need to raise awareness of bowel cancer and other bowel diseases. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer affecting one in 18 people. But unfortunately there isn’t enough funding for research in this area.”
Osteopath Doug has only been cycling for 10 months. He is proud to be using the bicycle of a former bowel cancer patient at his clinic, Chris Seery. Chris was determined to organise and ride from John O’Groats to Brandeston in Suffolk in 2012 but was sadly too ill and passed away in August 2012.
“I am honoured to be able to take his bike to make the ride for the charity that meant so much to him,” he said.
For GP William Ridsdill Smith bikes have been a lifelong passion. “As a GP I see patients with bowel problems on a daily basis. The physical and psychological impact is huge on our daily lives. What better cause to be cycling for?” he said.
The Bums on Bikes team has secured support from sponsors including Fundsmith, Eaton Vance Investment Management, Landsowne Partners, Delancey, JO Hambro Capital Management Group, Sandaire, Blue Sky Luxury, Thesis Asset Management and Coller Capital.
Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked the Bums on Bikes for their support. “Our mission is to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the help of our fantastic fundraisers,” she said.
“I am always amazed at the lengths to which people will go when they have a passion for the cause. We will use the funds to support the best UK science working towards a day when everyone diagnosed will survive the disease.”
Media contact: Anita Syvret, 07718 152153, 01242 228539, email@example.com
Some more information about Bowel & Cancer Research:
Bowel & Cancer Research is a registered charity (1119105) with three principle aims: to improve survival rates for bowel cancer sufferers through research; to investigate the causes, effects and treatment of bowel diseases other than cancer which are currently poorly understood; and through pioneering innovations in surgery to improve the quality of life of patients suffering a range of bowel diseases who may otherwise need to rely on a stoma (colostomy bag).
The charity operates out of the UK’s first National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation, based at Queen Mary, University of London. The centre, opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2013, is a national initiative aimed at bringing together different research disciplines to improve understanding of disease processes and the development of new therapies and to drive forward the innovation and adoption of surgical techniques and medical devices. The Centre focuses on gastrointestinal and bowel research and aims to provide a working model which can be replicated in any other disease area.
The National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation is home to a unique, state of the art human tissue laboratory which enables research with living human tissue taken with patient consent from Barts and the Royal London Hospitals.
Bowel & Cancer Research was founded in 1990 by Professor Norman Williams B, MS, FRCS, FMedSci.