Diss friends cycle for Japanese tsunami victims

Two friends from Diss have kicked off a 100 mile cycling challenge with the aim of raising hundreds of pounds to help the victims of the Japanese tsunami disaster.

Steph Cripps, 19, and Dan Rankin, 25, will pedal 20 miles every day this week travelling through as many towns and villages in south Norfolk as possible with the hope that passersby will stop to donate money for their efforts.

The pair launched their fundraising campaign on Monday morning when they cycled from Diss to Attleborough and back.

They aim to raise at least �500 which will be given to the Japan Tsunami Appeal administered by the British Red Cross.

Planning for the challenge only began last Thursday evening after Steph was inspired by the efforts of celebrities who featured in a BBC documentary trekking 100km across a desert in northern Kenya in aid of Comic Relief.

'I watched the BBC programme and Peter White really inspired me because he is blind and still managed to do it. I rang Dan up and said do you want to bike 100 miles next week and he said 'okay',' she said.

'Although people have said it's really easy - it's not for us. Me and Dan do not bike one mile in a week so 20 miles a day is really upping the exercise regime.'

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On why they chose to support the Japan relief effort, Steph added: 'It's at the forefront of people's minds and it's a massive tragedy. If people don't care about us on a bike, or think they could that, it at least gives people an outlet and something to donate for. If it makes people put a pound in the bucket then it's worth it.'

Thanks to generous donations from weekend customers at The Cock Inn, on Fair Green, where Dan works as bar manager, the pair have already raised more than �200.

Donations tins have also been placed in the Halifax bank, in Market Place, where Steph works, as well as The Fayre View Restaurant and Midwich Ltd. The cyclists will also be collecting money at Diss market on Friday.

To follow their progress, visit their Facebook page Dan and Steph Bike 100 Miles