Saddling up for charity

Chris Appleyard, Chris Nuttall, Nick Simpson completed a charity Pedal to Paris to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Chris Appleyard, Chris Nuttall, Nick Simpson completed a charity Pedal to Paris to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
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A man who saddled up to embark on a gruelling Pedal to Paris cycle challenge has raised more than £1,700 for charity.

Chris Appleyard, alongside friends Chris Nuttall and Nick Simpson, took part in the ride to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The cause was one close to Chris’ heart after Janice Ainsworth, the mother-in-law of Chris Nuttall, was diagnosed with MND and passed away in February.

After beginning their journey in London on September 5, the group rode for four days through the Kent countryside, before journeying across Northern France for three days to reach their final destination- the Eiffel Tower.

Chris, 33, from Halifax said: “We rode over 450km, through heavy fog, drizzle and the burning sun to complete the challenge and thankfully other than a touch of saddle sore, have no injuries.

“I personally raised over £1700 in the end and the total for all three of us went beyond £7000.

“It’s astonishing really and a true testament to what can be achieved if we put our minds to it.”

The friends rode as part of a group raising money for charities of their choice, but it wasn’t all plain cycling.

One rider from Hull fell off his bike on the third day, but despite injuring his arm he managed to contine on the ride.

Chris’ aunt and uncle, Bob and Debs Southwell also completed the challenge to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Debs underwent knee surgery in March, but trained hard to ensure that she could complete the ride.

On their arrival into Paris, the group were met by family who congratulated them on their massive fundraising achievement.

Chris added: “I want to acknowledge the people who have helped because it wouldn’t have been remotely possible to raise the money we have without their kind support.

“I have made some great new friends on the Pedal to Paris, all of who had the common goal of raising awareness and funding for their chosen charity.”