Team gears up for a trip of a lifetime

PUBLISHED: 17:11 15 August 2007 | UPDATED: 21:46 29 May 2010

Grainne James, far right, with from left, mum Pam Penalver, and friends Karen Fuller, Kay Puddick and Debbie Allwright

Grainne James, far right, with from left, mum Pam Penalver, and friends Karen Fuller, Kay Puddick and Debbie Allwright

A WOMAN who has overcome cancer will be riding 100 miles on a Harley Davidson bike – despite only having learnt to ride it in June. Grainne James, from Dunmow, took her compulsory basic training on a regular motorbike in March. Her first time on a Harley

A WOMAN who has overcome cancer will be riding 100 miles on a Harley Davidson bike - despite only having learnt to ride it in June.

Grainne James, from Dunmow, took her compulsory basic training on a regular motorbike in March.

Her first time on a Harley was just two weeks ago when she went on a weekend course in Wales. On Saturday she is returning there for another weekend of training before setting off.

Ms James, chief executive of the Helen Rollason Heal cancer charity, said: "It's quite daunting to think that after the weekend, the next time I will ride a Harley will be the start of a 1000-mile trip."

Ms James, now 45, was 35 when she discovered she had breast cancer and had to undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy.

Riding from Avimore in Scotland, through England to London, Ms James will form a group of 20 women who have survived cancer and are all taking part to raise money for various breast cancer charities.

Setting out on Sunday August 26, the riders have different levels of experience and many have never ridden before.

Ms James, who has been learning to ride a bike at Riders Edge, the Harley Davidson training centre in Wales, said: "The biggest challenge was getting on a bike for the first time. It is a fantastic experience to ride a Harley, but it takes a lot of practice."

Harley Davidson are sponsoring the event and they have leant a bike and leathers to each of the riders.

As well as raising vital funds, the journey will provide the women with a chance to share their experiences and offer peer group support.

The riders will reach their destination on Saturday September 1.

Kay Puddick, from High Stile, Dunmow, who has also survived breast cancer, is a long-term supporter of the Helen Rollason Heal Cancer Charity.

She raised £400 at a sale in Great Dunmow, which she has donated to Ms James as sponsorship.

"We had a great day and I am very pleased with the amount we managed to raise," she said.

Ms James said: "Thank you to everyone who has helped raise money for me. I have had a lot of support."

To sponsor Grainne James visit www.justgiving.com/lifeonaharley

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