Cycle challenge links RNLI stations to mark anniversary

David Humby, his neighbour Nick and a few friends will be riding their bikes from Aldeburgh RNLI station in Suffolk to Littlehampton RNLI station
David Humby, his neighbour Nick and a few friends will be riding their bikes from Aldeburgh RNLI station in Suffolk to Littlehampton RNLI station

A charity cycle ride planned ‘in a moment of madness’ will link two lifeboat stations, 178 miles apart.

The RNLI Aldeburgh to Littlehampton 2017 challenge will help celebrate Littlehampton RNLI’s 50th anniversary and highlights a family link with the station.

The naming ceremony and service dedication for the D Class lifeboat, Ray of Hope, at Littlehampton Lifeboat Station. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

The naming ceremony and service dedication for the D Class lifeboat, Ray of Hope, at Littlehampton Lifeboat Station. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

In 2014, Littlehampton Lifeboat Station received its new D Class lifeboat, Ray of Hope, which was funded by a donation from Kent couple Ray and Val Humby.

Now, their son David, his neighbour Nick and a few friends will be riding their bikes from Aldeburgh RNLI station in Suffolk down to Littlehampton.

David said: “As part of the 50th anniversary of the RNLI station at Littlehampton and in a moment of madness, we decided that it would be good to link our local station in Aldeburgh with Littlehampton and raise funds for both while cycling from one to the other - a total of 178 miles in two days.

“My family has always had the lifeboat bug and the D Class inshore lifeboat Ray of Hope stationed in Littlehampton is particularly close to heart.

“It costs £1,593 to kit out one crew member in protective gear but we’re hoping to beat that target.”

To encourage people to support the effort, Adnams and Greene King breweries have both donated a crate of beer, which will be sent to the two individuals who donate the most.

The journey starts on Saturday, departing Aldeburgh at 10am. A stopover in Orpington, Kent, is planned at around 5.30pm, after the riders have negotiated the many towns in Essex and a ferry crossing.

On Sunday, the riders will depart at 10.30am and hope to arrive in Littlehampton no later than 4pm.

David said: “The timings are based on an average speed of 16mph but we’re hoping to do it quicker, though who knows what could happen.”

Nick has challenged his colleagues at NatWest Bank to raise at least £500 towards the total target and said if his staff and colleagues reach the target, he will allow his fellow managers wax his legs.

David said: “The crews of the RNLI are all volunteers and unpaid but still willing to go out in all weathers whenever asked. There are also three stations on the River Thames and these are the busiest stations in the country. Crews also volunteer for flood rescue teams whenever the need arises.

“On average, the RNLI save 22 lives a day and as the RNLI is totally funded by charitable donations, without the support of the great British public these rescues just wouldn’t be possible.”

Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RNLIRide to make a donation.

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