Meet the cycling Norfolk neighbours who are adding 300 miles to one of the UK's toughest challenges
PUBLISHED: 15:26 21 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:50 21 February 2018
Two Norfolk friends are planning to cycle the "long route" from Lands End in Cornwall to John o' Groats in Scotland to raise money for causes close to their hearts.
North Burlingham neighbours Tricia Hudson, 60, and Nikki Thomas, 51, will start their epic cycle journey on April 13 and ride using the Sustrans route which is just under 1,200 miles long.
Ms Hudson said: “I have always wanted to do a long distance ride.
“Nikki and I have been neighbours for about 20 years and have done cycle rides together.
“We started talking about doing something more and came up with this idea.
“The Sustrans route is considerably longer than the standard route, which is about 800 miles.”
She said they would average about 45 to 50 miles a day on and off road over four weeks “so we can enjoy it”.
Mrs Thomas said they would have back up in the form of a campervan that would follow them.
She said: “We have put a lot of time in and do quite a bit of cycling but it is still daunting.
“We didn’t set out to raise money through the ride, but so many people asked how they could sponsor us so we decided to involve three causes we are involved in.”
The causes the pair have chosen are The Nancy Oldfield Trust, Wherry Maud Trust and Mancroft Appeal 300.
Ms Hudson volunteers with the Nancy Oldfield Trust, an organisation which offers disabled or disadvantaged people a chance to enjoy a day out on the water through sailing, canoeing, fishing, bird watching or motorboat cruises.
Both women are members of the recently formed Wherry Maud Trust, which was set up to maintain, preserve and operate Maud, one of the last two trading wherry on the Broads.
Mrs Thomas is also a keen bell ringer who has rung in places as far afield as New York, Australia and many of the cathedrals and churches in the UK. The Mancroft Appeal 300 is a project to create a ringing teaching and heritage centre at St Peter Mancroft in Norwich.