A GROUP of adventurous cyclists have taken on an epic Three Peaks challenge to raise funds for a cancer support charity.
Terry Whalley, 45, Clive Gilbert, 49, and Sam Read, 46, from Doveridge, took to the highest mountains around the UK on two wheels with two friends from London, Paul Roden and Ben Broomby, to raise more than £1,900 for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The 490-mile ride saw the intrepid five take on Snowdon in Wales, Scafell Pike in Cumbria and Ben Nevis in Scotland, battling adverse weather conditions, changing altitudes and steep climbs to complete the challenge in four days. And the friends say they are already keen to start planning for next year's challenge.
Despite Mr Whalley being a diabetic and Mr Read needing to have a hip replacement, the challenge was born while watching the autumn rugby internationals last year.
He said: "Clive thought it was about time we took on a serious challenge and he came up with this one.
"It turns out it was a ride of 490 miles with 19,000 feet of ascent on the bikes with Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis to climb en route."
The team had to complete the challenge in four days with the furthest single ride being 175 miles from Maryport in Cumbria to Loch Lomond in Scotland.
Mr Whalley said: "There were some really long days in the saddle, one took 16 hours, from seven in the morning until 11 at night."
Training for the challenge started in March.
Mr Whalley and Mr Gilbert have been cycling for about five years, and Mr Read has a history of endurance events.
But the London duo had to buy bikes specially for the event, having done very little cycling in the past.
Mr Whalley said: "To add to this, I am type-one diabetic, Sam is having a hip replacement in five weeks' time and Clive suffers from vertigo."
During the almost 2,500 accumulated miles, the team only suffered one mishap – a puncture – though Mr Roden struggled to make it down Ben Nevis and later learned he had a stress fracture.
Mr Whalley said: "When the sleeper train arrived in London, he went straight to hospital as his painful leg had swollen considerably.
"But we are pleased to say we all completed the full challenge, which we put down to good preparation and team work."
The team is still accepting sponsorship and further information is available online at www.justgiving.com/3peakspin.