TWO south Warwickshire fundraisers have banked more than £1,000 after cycling 30 miles on a side-by-side tandem bike.
Friends Alex Pearson from Stratford and Emma Brayne from Warwick, cycled a route from Claverdon to Hatton, via Warwick, Henley, Shrewley and Wootton Wawen as part of their intrepid challenge in aid of local children’s charity Molly Ollys.
It brings a move to dry land for the ladies who, for the past two years, have taken to water for a 12km fundraising canal pedalo challenge, the proceeds from which are being match-funded by The Morrisons Foundation.
The girls were seen on their way by pupils at Claverdon Primary School, where Molly Ollerenshaw had been a pupil, and finished at The Hatton Arms, close to Molly’s family home on Hatton Park. They were also joined by The High Sheriff of Warwickshire Sophie Hilleary.
Molly Ollerenshaw died from a rare kidney cancer in 2011, aged just eight-years-old.
The charity, established in her name, last year marked its 10th anniversary of supporting children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It helps with emotional support and donates wishes, therapeutic toys and books to children directly and through hospitals across the UK.
The girls were once again be supported by Alex’s friend David Fletcher and Emma’s husband Adam Brayne who cycled with them to help maintain health and safety en route.
Alex, a community champion for Morrisons in Leamington, said: “It went well overall although we did have a few technical issues with a pedal falling off in Warwick, but Adam managed to fix it with the toolbox we’d brought along.
“I had always wanted to do a route that involved Claverdon School but it wasn’t possible previously on the pedalo. It was great for the pupils to hear about Molly’s legacy as well, which I think is really important to keep that going. The children seeing us off gave us a bit of energy and a boost.”
Emma added: “The sheer strength needed to push that bike up the hills was really really difficult. The challenge with this one wasn’t so much the distance as the type of bike we were riding. It was incredibly heavy. They’re not meant for riding this way.
“But, unlike when we did the pedalo challenge, we enjoyed seeing people en route.
Everyone was very supportive and Adam and David always made us feel very safe on the roads.”
Molly’s mum and the charity’s Founder Rachel Ollerenshaw, also helped keep the women safe by following them in her car.
She said: “Alex is relentless in her quest to help local charities and takes time to really understand what we are about. It was not easy for her and Emma but they wanted to keep going as they know the importance of the help that Molly Ollys provides. Big thanks to them both and their amazing support crew who take time out to help.”
Donations towards their cycling challenge can still be made via https://www.justgiving.com/page/alex-pearson-1686083178810