NEARLY €900 has already been raised in sponsorship from a charity cycle ride.
Keen cyclist Neil McKay organised the event and mapped out a 100 mile route, divided into four circuits, starting and finishing at the Marjal Campsite in Crevillente.
Neil and his wife Gina, originally from Staffordshire in the UK, are spending the winter at Marjal and the idea came about for Neil to do a big cycle of 100 miles in a day: “An old family friend got in a camper van and cycled the whole coast of the UK and that seemed great and is something that just stuck in my mind, but it was never the right environment until I came here and discovered the great cycle routes through the local countryside and villages.”
Neil began training in the UK and continued whilst here on the Costa Blanca with help from Dutch friend Jan Hooijer, who he met at the Marjal last winter. Helping build up Neil’s stamina, Jan also helped him in organising the cycle challenge.
With such an international community, the event was to be in aid of four charities. Neil’s best friend’s wife was helped by Macmillan Nurses during the end stages of her life so that was one chosen charity. Gina is a former teacher and so locally the Elche Children’s Home was also chosen as well as Dutch and German cancer care charities. All money raised will be split between the four beneficiaries with Gina also collecting gifts for the children which have been made into shoe box presents to be distributed for Christmas.
On the day many cyclists turned up to take part and join the cause, but with one notable absent, Neil: “My training was going really well until two weeks ago when I had what is known as a training incident. I thought I would recover quickly but unfortunately I ended up in hospital and was told I wouldn’t be fit enough to ride. I was and am deeply disappointed not to take part but we had tremendous support.”