A couple from Morpeth have successfully completed their major cycling challenge.
The epic journey from Land’s End in the far south west of England to John O’Groats in the far north east of Scotland – 1316 Miles for Smiles – was undertaken by Richard and Eileen Burrow to raise money for Pearl of Africa Child Care Ltd.
It works in partnership with the Molly and Paul Childcare Foundation to provide education and care to orphaned children in an area of Uganda.
The duo had to cope with a range of conditions and terrain during a four-and-a-half-week period.
Mr Burrow said: “After a few days on the bikes, we settled into a routine and most nights we were in bed in our tent by 9pm to help us get up early the next morning for the next leg.
“We were delighted when we reached John O’Groats and we took some time to enjoy the moment and reflect on the ride.
“Quite a few people we met donated money and the managers at the camp sites were very helpful. We stayed for free at one site, for half price at another and there was also a manager who gave us a free upgrade to a small cabin as there had been a cancellation. We have raised £1,874.65 so far and we would like to thank those who have made a donation and/or supported us in any way.”
He added that the toughest part of the journey in terms of the cycling was the first few days in Cornwall and Devon as the roads were narrow and winding and some of the hills had very steep gradients.
There were a couple of times where they did get lost – the bike GPS system sometimes did not match up with the road atlas. Mr Burrow’s back wheel buckled at Pateley Bridge in Yorkshire, but he managed to go slowly to Harrogate where it was fixed.
They stopped off in Morpeth on day 18 and a fund-raising tea party attended by relatives, friends and supporters took place at Storey Park Community Centre.
The wind and rain was at its worst on the penultimate day of the challenge in northern Scotland and it was so cold that Mr Burrow was unable to hold a knife and fork in his hands.
For more information about the ride and charity, visit www.1316milesforsmiles.com