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Tour de CLA

PUBLISHED: 14:29 23 July 2014

Chris Wild (left) and Mike Hemingway take a breather during a training ride

Chris Wild (left) and Mike Hemingway take a breather during a training ride

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Two countrymen cycle 300 miles in three days for charity

Two middle-aged Yorkshiremen swapped their usual four-wheel drive vehicles for the hard slog of pedal power when they embarked on an epic 300 miles in three days cycle ride to raise cash for two charities, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Educational Trust, starting on 17 July in Barnard Castle, County Durham. The saddle-sore cyclists – a gamekeeper and a 4x4 mechanic – arrived, puffed out but triumphant, some 72 hours later at their destination, the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, with every single penny raised by this gruelling cycling challenge going to the two charities.

Before setting off, Chris Wild, 46, the head gamekeeper at the Coniston Hall Estate in North Yorkshire, said: “At around 300 miles, it’s a long way for us to cycle in a few days. It’ll be tough going, especially if the weather’s hot. My father, Ted, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease a few years ago and I’ve raised money for the charity in the past. But I’ve always wanted to do more. The inspiration for our bike ride was undoubtedly that this year’s Tour de France Grand Départ begins in the north, in Yorkshire. The idea just grew from there.”

Mr Wild, who is the Regional Chairman of the Yorkshire branch of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (as well as an NGO National Vice-Chairman), added: “I also wanted to raise funds for the NGO Educational Trust, which does such a lot of good work to open peoples’ eyes about the countryside. So I thought it was logical that the route should run from NGO’s HQ in County Durham down to its members’ stand at this year’s CLA Game Fair, an event which itself celebrates the countryside. Please give generously, every scrap of cash is going straight to charity.”

You can still donate securely online at: www.justgiving.com/teams/TheTourDeCLA

Take a look at how the cyclists got on here: twitter.com/NGOTourDeCLA

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