Three friends from Stoke on Trent have come together to raise money for three charities by undertaking an 825 mile bike ride from Stoke on Trent to Erlangen in Germany.
Alex Findler, 32, from Fenton, Matt Kerr, 34, of Basford, and Mark Allman, 32, from Meir Park, hope to raise £3000 for Douglas MacMillan, The British Heart Foundation, and child bereavement charity 4Louis when they undertake the trip on 27 July.
The journey will take 11 days and will depart from Stoke City’s bet365 Stadium at 7am on 27 July and take in five countries – England, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany – before finishing in Stoke on Trent’s twinned town Erlangen on 7 August.
Covering around 70 miles per day, the route will include 11 stop-off points – Northampton, London, Dover, Bruges, Antwerp, Maastricht, Düren, Koblenz, Mainz, Frankfurt, Wurzburg, and Erlangen – where the cyclists will make overnight stays to recuperate.
Organiser and participant Alex Findler said: “This came about as a result of us joking about on a night out and has since snowballed into the Stoke2Erlangen Charity Challenge.
“Initially we were only half serious about undertaking the trip but when someone suggested that we do it for charity, that’s when we decided to go all out and raise some much needed funds for charities that are close to our hearts.
“The charities themselves were chosen as each one has helped out with issues that have affected us personally in some way and so we thought we’d repay the favour and raise not only money but also awareness of the great work they do. It’d be great if people could get involved and help us reach our target total and beyond!”
The group has managed to secure donations and support from Stafford-based fixings manufacturer Scell-it® who has arranged accommodation for the riders along the route, and Tunstall-based Tile Mountain who has provided financial support and cycling apparel.
A dedicated JustGiving page has been created to collect donations at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stoke2erlangen and Stoke2Erlangen has also set up social media accounts for the challenge and will be posting updates throughout the duration of the journey – Twitter: @Stoke2Erlangen Instagram: @stoke2erlangen Facebook: facebook.com/Stoke2Erlangen