Friends set for cycle challenge

Nicholas Shields (left) and Joe Dickenson (right) set off on their 350-mile trip to Clermont, in aid of Muscular Dystrophy on, Tuesday
Nicholas Shields (left) and Joe Dickenson (right) set off on their 350-mile trip to Clermont, in aid of Muscular Dystrophy on, Tuesday
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TWO teenage cyclists will set off on a 350-mile journey for charity on Tuesday.

Joe Dickinson, from Little Cornard, and Nick Shields, from Great Cornard, will pedal from Sudbury to its twin town Clermont in France to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

The two 19-year-olds, who expect to complete the ride in four days, set themselves the challenge after being inspired by Joe’s childhood friend Daniel Messenger, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in primary school.

Joe said: “Daniel is a good friend of mine – I watched the disease take him over, but he is still battling. He never let the disease get the better of him and always stays positive.

“I always said to myself I’d do something to raise awareness of the disease and raise money for it – and now I am.”

The challenge encompasses riding from Sudbury to Canterbury, where Joe and Nick will complete a cycle route to account for the 21-mile distance of the Dover to Calais ferry.

Once completed, they will make their way to Dover to catch the ferry, before cycling more than 140 miles south through France to Clermont.

Nick said: “We have been training for the ride since Christmas, and are currently doing about 60 miles all around the Sudbury area in training.

“We both started out as very casual cyclists, but have got really into it. We love it now.”

The pair have raised around £800 through donations from family and friends, and hope to hit their target of £1,000.

Waitrose in Sudbury has also adopted the cause as one of its three “community matters” charities, which sees shoppers vote for which good cause they think should receive a £1,000 donation.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/sudburytoclermont.