Team HALO complete 144-mile cycle challenge for worthy causes
Wed, 06 Jul 2022

Keen cyclists and council colleagues Darren Gladstone and Jennifer Lonsdale used their pedal power to complete a 144-mile cycle challenge around the Yorkshire Wolds in just two days, helping them to raise vital funds for three worthy causes.

Live Well Work Well officer Darren and healthy lifestyles development officer Jennifer, who created Team HALO during the coronavirus lockdowns, took on the gruelling Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Challenge on 2 and 3 July.

The circular route started and finished in Norton, near Malton, with Darren and Jennifer tackling 72 miles each day, camping overnight in Hutton Cranswick.

So far, they have raised around £1,350 for the charities Ryedale Special Families and Prostate Cancer UK, as well as Experience Community, a not-for-profit community interest company.

Darren said: "The ride itself was an overwhelming success, and we are already planning to complete the challenge again in 2023; albeit in the opposite direction. The weather played its part and was mostly dry over the two days including the night we camped. Completing the mileage across the picturesque Wolds that we all call home, was absolutely the right challenge to complete. With over 4,000 ft elevation on each of the two days, it challenged us, but with thoughts of our parents and charities in mind, we continued and completed the mileage in a total moving time of 11 hours. Huge thanks must go to those that have sent messages of support throughout, and to those who have been kind enough to donate in these challenging times."

The pair created Team HALO in March 2021 to meet up and exercise safely during the lockdown periods.

"We all missed being together as a team, and cycling seemed the best way to make that happen again, through a shared love of road biking and mountain biking, and it grew from there," Darren added.

The Yorkshire Wolds Cycle Challenge is designed to raise money for Ryedale Special Families, a charity that supports families of children and young people with disabilities, illness, and additional needs. 

Darren and Jennifer also chose to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK and Experience Community, two causes which mean a lot to them.

Darren said: "My dad is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for prostate cancer, and less than two weeks ago he nearly lost the ability to walk, due to the cancer spreading to his lower back and compressing the spinal cord. Too many grandfathers, fathers, uncles, brothers, and sons are lost by prostate cancer, and using the cycle challenge I chose to show my continued support for the charity, following my Run the Month campaign in January 2019. Raising the awareness and encouraging men around the world to check their risk and be tested, is a huge passion of mine, and one that I will continue to promote."

Experience Community provides a supportive community for disabled people and their families to access the great outdoors, in adapted wheelchairs and bikes/trikes. They also provide workshops and education to outdoor activity providers, enabling them to become more inclusive in their provision to able and disabled people.

Jennifer commented: "Knowing the challenges that disabled people and their families face daily, especially with regards to accessing the great outdoors, makes the work of the Experience Community invaluable to people like my parents. They have both benefitted from being part of this community and I really wanted to help raise awareness of this wonderful charity and help fund the work they do, and what better way to do it than out in the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds on two wheels."

You can still support Team HALO by donating through their JustGiving page: https://justgiving.com/team/HALO2


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