Riders take on River Aire charity challenge


Bike riding teams of colleagues at the Leeds HQ of the UK’s largest independent drainage specialist have cycled the length of the River Aire and far, far beyond for charity.

Teams from Lanes operational centres across the UK and in Ireland are cycling the length of local geographical features without moving an inch for the company’s five corporate charities.

Three teams of seven pedalers at Leeds each pledged to cycle the length of the 114-kilometre River Aire on static exercise bikes, a total of 342 kilometres.

Each participant cycled for an hour, clocking an impressive 412.9 kilometres between them. On the road, that would have taken them from Leeds to Brighton in East Sussex.

Money raised by participants in the Lanes Cycle Challenge will be matched pound-for-pound by the company, which has 32 depots and utility service hubs across the UK.

Charities benefiting from the fundraising are the Stroke Association, Mind, The Jack and Jill Children’s Foundation, The Sick Children’s Trust, and Sarcoidosis UK.

Richard Catherall, a management accounts assistant who helped organise the event on Wednesday 6th June, said: “Everyone enjoyed taking part, though we all got a bit sweaty at times.

“I was particularly pleased to be supporting MIND because I’ve had problems with depression in the past, so this was a great opportunity to raise money that will help others improve their mental wellbeing.”

The oldest cyclist was purchase ledger clerk Pauline Allison, aged 68, who completed 13.7 kilometres in her hour of pedalling.

She said: “It was great fun. I hadn’t cycled for a few years, but I do a lot of walking, so it only got really tiring towards the end. We all had legs like jelly by the time we’d finished.”

Richard said Pauline set the bar for others to follow, adding: “Some of the younger riders were inspired by her effort, which is why we achieved such a good distance. It’ll be interesting to see if other depots can beat us!”

It is not long before Richard and his colleagues find out. Next to take up the Lanes Cycle Challenge is the Glasgow Depot, where teams plan to cycle the 176-kilometre length of the Rive Clyde on Friday 8th June.

Anyone wishing to support the team for their endeavours the donation page can be found by clicking on this link https://www.lanesgroup.com/csr-charity/


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