Newport charity boosted by pair’s cycle ride from country’s end to end

PUBLISHED: 10:49 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 09 August 2017

At Lands End: Will and Luci Neville with Ed Wells

At Lands End: Will and Luci Neville with Ed Wells

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Two intrepid cyclists are celebrating a gruelling ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End in aid of a Newport-based charity.

The bikers and friends who joined them pictured at John O'’Groats: Venetia Gray, Shane Gray, John Harrison, Luci Neville, Ed Wells, Selina Webb and Will NevilleThe bikers and friends who joined them pictured at John O'’Groats: Venetia Gray, Shane Gray, John Harrison, Luci Neville, Ed Wells, Selina Webb and Will Neville

Friends Ed Wells, 37, who runs a recruitment company, and Luci Neville, 32, of Linton, head of drama at Bishop’s Stortford College prep school, completed the 1,024 miles on Saturday after 14 days in the saddle.

To date they have raised £6,500 of their £10,000 target on behalf of Friends of Kyangala Trust. The charity was founded about seven years ago by John and Andrea Harrison, of Newport, to improve the lives of a Kenyan township.

Members of the trust have visited yearly to see the problems first hand and to do something practical to help while there.

Kyangala Trust has sunk wells for drinking water, built water storage facilities, erected toilets and security fencing, refurbished schools, provided equipment for the local hospital, supplied clothes and shoes and set up a hardship fund for particularly needy families.

Next summer trustees will take out the donated cash from this event and recruit villagers to help them build a school extension and further improve water facilities.

Ed and Luci, supported throughout their mammoth ride by Luci’s husband Will in a support van, were also joined by friends and family cycling alongside on all but a few days.

They celebrated in Cornwall by sharing a nip from a miniature bottle of Scottish whisky Ed carried all the way.

Ed said afterwards: “It was brilliant. We managed to complete the ride safely which is the most important thing and we had great support. We did over 80 miles nearly every day.”

They both had a couple of spills but luckily weren’t injured.

Ed said poor weather made the ride harder. Four days of sun in Scotland was followed by wet conditions in the middle and particularly horrendous weather in the West Country.

“There were 30mph winds and horizontal rain. The topography of the hills in the West Country was pretty gruelling, worse than the hills in Scotland.”

They only stopped for a break every few hours and spent nights in hostels.

“Neither of us have ever done anything like this before,” Ed added. “Luci only started riding in January and the most I’ve done is a 100-miler. It’s a huge, huge personal achievement and for the charity.”

• To donate, visit their fundraising site.

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