Essex cycling duo head for the Ukraine

PUBLISHED: 12:50 11 June 2010 | UPDATED: 12:50 11 June 2010

Jamie and Judy with their tandem MEB_240510_Tandem

Jamie and Judy with their tandem MEB_240510_Tandem

Archant

A MARRIED couple are taking their love for cycling to a new level and embarking on a tandem mission to raise £10,000 for charity.

Judy and Jamie Mackay, from Station Road, Felsted, will be tackling an 1800-mile ride from their village home all the way to Chernihiv, in the Ukraine.

A MARRIED couple are taking their love for cycling to a new level and embarking on a tandem mission to raise £10,000 for charity.

Judy and Jamie Mackay, from Station Road, Felsted, will be tackling an 1800-mile ride from their village home all the way to Chernihiv, in the Ukraine.

The destination may seem a little random for the pair of 53-year-olds, but when you discover the reason behind the ride, the eastern European town becomes the most obvious place to draw a finish line.

“Every penny we raise will be donated to the Felsted Aid charity,” said Judy. “We have already completed a couple of rides in the past to raise money. But this is the biggest challenge we have taken on. It is very exciting and both Jamie and I are looking forward to seeing all the countries we pass through from a cycling perspective.”

Felsted Aid has been running for 10 years and the main objective of founders Pauline Craven and Alan Hilliar is to help deprived children who are victims of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986.

As part of the effort the charity has helped to set up and then continued to fund a Revival Centre in the town of Chernihiv. The centre will herald end of the three-week adventure for the Mackays who begin their quest on July 9.

The planned route will take the duo to Harwich, where they will board a ferry with their Amercian-built tandem bike, then they will cycle across Holland, North Germany, the width of Poland, and on into central Ukraine. They will be flying back.

“The hardest part is likely to be the Hartz mountains in Germany,” said Judy. “However, sometimes the flat bits like in Holland can be tough because you don’t get to freewheel, its just pedal pedal pedal.

“When we told friends we were doing it they thought we were a bit bonkers and I think some of them even fell of their chairs with laughter. But they have all supported us since and we hope to raise lots of money.”

The pair will be able to draw on recent experiences in the saddle after cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End in the UK for the same charity.

They will also have the help of a volunteer back up team who will be in vehicle pursuit all the way to the finish.

To sponsor the Mackays visit justgiving/jamiejudymackay, for more info on Felsted Aid see felstedaid.org

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