Charlie saddles up for a 800-mile challenge

Ali McLean, left, and Charlie Ryan, right, are part of the six-man team that will cycle the Peloponnesian coastline in aid of The Percy Hedley Foundation in September.
Ali McLean, left, and Charlie Ryan, right, are part of the six-man team that will cycle the Peloponnesian coastline in aid of The Percy Hedley Foundation in September.

A North Shields man is gearing up for an epic cycle challenge in aid of charity.

Charlie Ryan, 39, is part of a six-man team that will circumnavigate the Peloponnesian coastline in Greece in aid of the Percy Hedley Foundation.

The 800-mile route, that includes more than 50,000ft of hill climbing, will be led by Ali McLean, 52, of Newcastle.

Also on the team are Rob Campbell, 60; Steve and Graeme Self, 39 and 32; and Daniel Marcal, 39.

They are aiming to raise £16,000 for the foundation to cover the cost of buying specialist equipment for the charity’s new residential unit in Killingworth.

Donations can be made via www.justgiving.com/pelovelo

On September 11, the cycle team will roll out of Olympia, Greece, the site of the original Olympic Games, and head west towards Katakolo.

With a combined age of 261, the brave cyclists will endure unfamiliar temperatures pushing 35°c over a ten-day period with the longest stage covering 108 miles of unforgiving, mountainous terrain.

Ali said: “I’ve wanted to cycle the Peloponnese since 1992 so a chance encounter, a few glasses of Ouzo and a challenge to race around the peninsula was too much to resist.

“It’s going to be a huge, huge test so we thought it should benefit a very worthy cause and Percy Hedley met our criteria of being both local and child supportive.

“We also researched a few charities and looked at the percentage of income that actually goes to the causes rather than the directors. The Percy Hedley Foundation came out very favourably in this respect.”