Bikers battled bad weather to complete a seven and a half hour cycle ride through Sussex in aid of charity.
Employees at Steyning’s high street Co-op took on the challenge of cycling 80 miles across the South Downs, stopping at 11 other Co-op branches on the way. They raised a total of £365 for the British Red Cross, the Co-op’s partner charity of the year.
Steyning store manager Anthony Walker pedalled alongside employees Gemma Manvell and Iain Fraser, as well as three other Co-op employees, from Petworth to Broadwater,
Mr Walker said: “It went really well and we all managed to complete the ride.
“I was pretty tired by the end but I felt a real sense of achievement. And I didn’t hurt as much as I thought I would!”
The route, which started in Petworth, took them past Co-op branches in Southwater, Ashington, Cowfold, Sheddingdean in Burgess Hill, Hurstpointpier, Steyning, Sompting and Worthing’s Ham Road store before finishing at Cricketers Parade in Broadwater.
Mr Walker said: “The first stage uphill from Petworth to Southwater was one of the hardest parts. There were lots of hills, some quite steep, which was quite intense in the rain.
“For the first hour and a half it rained quite badly but then it cleared up fortunately.”
Due to the weather, the team did not cycle dressed as their favourite Disney characters as planned. Instead, they all wore British Red Cross jerseys to show their support for the charity.
Meanwhile, employees at the Steyning store got into the Disney spirit. Customers were served by Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas and the Queen of Hearts. One couple who both work at the store came dressed as Shrek and Fiona, complete with green faces and ogre ears.
They welcomed the cyclists when they stopped by, half way through their journey.
The branch also held in store events, such as a tombola and raffle, raising £512 for the charity.
All the funds from the day will go towards a joint Co-op and British Red Cross project to tackle loneliness and social isolation.
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