Dear Sir,

At the start of March, I decided I needed to do something to help with my own fitness but also something to motivate me to succeed. So I decided I would try to raise money for a local charity by riding my mountain bike 500 miles in 50 days. The reason for the timeline and number of miles was due to the fact that it is my sisters 50th Birthday in May – so it kind of all added up nicely for a challenge.

Cancer is something that will affect us all in some form during our lives, either directly or indirectly with loved ones. I lost my Dad 12 years ago to cancer and have lost other family members and friends to this disease, so Great Aycliffe Cancer Support Group was the charity of choice. I had heard of their work in the community and had previously donated to them via the Sunday morning football team I am associated with. I could have chosen a specific cancer charity, but thought it would be better to try and raise funds for a local group who support people suffering from all types of cancer in our own community.

The target was always £500 and I set the Just Giving page up to see if I could hit that target. Due to the generosity of my family, friends and Aycliffe residents, I had raised over £1300 before I even started. So I wanted to thank these people by dedicating rides/days to any of them who had loved ones who had either passed as a result of the disease or who were currently fighting it – or in the best cases, fought and won the battle. So I came up with the idea of “50 Reasons Why…” which was to basically commemorate a ride each day for a loved one.

My challenge was due to start on 1st April, but I had to complete an isolation period before I could commence with the challenge, so I started the challenge on 6th April and hope to complete by 22nd May. I have a number of dedications arranged and will be publicising this daily on social media forums – but there’s room for so many more.

So, if you would like to make any dedications, please get in touch via my Facebook page (Paul Eales) or alternatively, if you can spare a small amount as a donation – please go to my Just Giving page and pledge as much as you can – every penny counts and will be much appreciated from myself and the charity.