Ashington men among team cycle to Paris for skin cancer research

Ashington men Fred Jacobsen (back row, fourth from the left) and Henry Webster (crouching at the front second from left)  are  pictured near the Eiffel Tower in Paris with the rest of 'Team  Bike for Mike' and their support team SUS-150909-123441001

Ashington men Fred Jacobsen (back row, fourth from the left) and Henry Webster (crouching at the front second from left) are pictured near the Eiffel Tower in Paris with the rest of 'Team Bike for Mike' and their support team SUS-150909-123441001

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On Friday September 4, two men from Ashington cycled from London to Paris in memory of a friend’s father who died from skin cancer.

Henry Webster and Fred Jacobsen, who are both 25, were recruited along with 10 others by friend Gayle Telford from Surrey to make up ‘Team Bike for Mike’ in order to pay tribute to her dad Mike Telford.

The hard-core London to Paris cycling challenge has so far raised around £17,365 for the British Skin Foundation.

Gayle said: “As my dad was a huge sports-fan it seemed appropriate to honour his memory with a sporting challenge.”

Also among the team inwere brothers Theo Jenkins, 25, and Felix Jenkins, 23, from West Wittering, Fran Andrews, 25, from Reigate, Harry Cullis, 25, from Overton, Harry Parnell, 25, from Wiltshire, Serena Pelly, 25, from Kent, Andy Clegg, 24, from Gloucestershire, Jake Cooper, 25, from Leicestershire, Alex Strachan, 25, from Surrey, and Rich Kearney, 25, from Bristol.

Before the challenge the tight-knit team raised money with a series of events including a sports day, pub quiz, cricket match and a concert, leading up to the main London to Paris cycling event which coincided with Mike’s birthday.

Training was hard-going with gruelling 35 mile sessions twice a week in preparation for the 200 mile challenge, alongside longer cycles from London to Brighton and Newhaven.

The team have been battered and bruised along the way but remained determined to honour Mike’s memory.

Of the challenge Gayle said: “The whole thing still feels very surreal but when we saw the Eiffel Tower and our friends and family there cheering us in, it was the most incredible feeling, there were some tears and we were overwhelmed with the support from all our friends and family back home who cheered us on the whole way too with messages and social media.

“We all trained so hard and it is nice that it paid off and we have raised a great amount of money to the British Skin Foundation.

“I will never forget this adventure and felt very lucky to share it with such amazing friends and family!”

To support Team Bike 4 Mike please visit https://www.justgiving.com/teambike4mike/

Report and picture contributed by Chloë Webster.