A team of cyclists will set off this weekend on a John O’Groats to Land’s End charity challenge in the hope of setting a world record.
The university friends, calling themselves the Magnificent Seven, will be using a seven-seater bike as they raise funds and awareness for Cyclists Fighting Cancer (CFC), a national children’s cancer charity.
Setting out from Groats on Sunday (May 22), they intend to complete their 1000-mile journey by the following Saturday (May 28), breaking a Guinness World Record in the process.
CFC was founded in 2005 to give new lightweight bikes, tandems and specially adapted trikes to children and young people living with cancer.
The riders aim to raise £50,000 for the charity, enabling more youngsters to enjoy cycling for mental health, for exercise-based rehabilitation and as an enjoyable activity.
Weighing 200kg and with an average speed of six miles an hour, the seven-seater conference bike is designed to allow everyone to sit socially facing inwards in a circle, with six people pedalling while one person at the back steers.
The current world record for the same route travelled on a conference bike was set in 2010, by a team of 194 people taking more than 28 days.
The Magnificent Seven aim to complete the challenge in just seven days with 14 core riders.
Mike Grisenthwaite, founder and chief executive of CFC, said: “We are honoured that team Magnificent Seven have chosen to support Cyclists Fighting Cancer in their Guinness World Record attempt.
“John O’Groats to Land’s End is a tough endurance ride even on a standard bike, but it’s an even bigger challenge on a seven-seater conference bike weighing in at 200kg.
“Their wonderful fundraising effort will allow Cyclists Fighting Cancer to support more children and young people living with and beyond cancer across the UK.”
Team member Jeff Kapp said: “I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2008. As an ex-elite cyclist there was no way I was going to follow the stock ‘rest and take it easy’ advice.
“Thanks to Mike’s research, a forward-thinking oncologist and some very supportive cycling buddies, I kept riding all the way through my cancer treatment and I am confident that I came through the other side in a much better way thanks to the exercise.
“Cancer is tough on adults, but so much tougher on kids, so supporting CFC was a natural thing for me to do.”
Details of the challenge and the route can be found at cyclistsfc.org.uk/magnificent7
Donations can be made on the team’s JustGiving page.