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Trio tackle 140 coast to coast ride to make £100K BMX dream a reality

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A trio of men are set to tackle an arduous coast to coast cycle ride to raise cash for a £100K dream BMX project.

Rob Harwin, Doug Sawyer and Grant Brownlow are set ride from Whitehaven near Liverpool to Tynemouth in Newcastle this weekend (October 9 and 10) to help their three-year-long dream of building a state of the art BMX/Pump track in West End Park, March become a reality.

The aim is to provide a track suitable for all ages and abilities to use on everything from BMX bikes to toddler balance cycles and skateboards or roller skates.

From left: Doug Sawyer, Rob Harwin and Grant Brownlow who are tackling a 140 mile coast to coast ride. (51814802)
From left: Doug Sawyer, Rob Harwin and Grant Brownlow who are tackling a 140 mile coast to coast ride. (51814802)

Rob a new father to three-month-old Cleo and his fellow dads have always enjoyed BMXing and with the rise in popularity of the sport following Team GB's recent success at the Tokyo Olympics feels the time is right to rekindle interest in their ambitious project.

He explained the trio have previously held stalls in the town to raise awareness of the scheme, which will see a track built adjacent to the skate bowl at the bottom end of West End park.

Initially the friends had hoped to build a replacement track for the popular one in North Drive play area, but Rob said Fenland District Council wanted to see it built in a more central location.

He said: "The area in West End Park is more secure, it has better lighting, CCTV cameras and is more central for the whole town. So it makes sense to build it there.

"We have been told it will cost at least £100,000 to build and there is match-funding available so the more we raise the more will get towards the cost from the various funding pots."

Rob also explained the track, which will have an asphalt surface, will not be a full-size track but a smaller pump track, which are becoming increasingly popular in the UK with their jumps and rollers.

The threesome have been busy in training for the ride which will take them through the challenging hills of the Lake District for sometime and are spending this weekend completing a 50 mile ride to help prepare them.

Rob said: "It is quite difficult to prepare for the hills of the Lake District here in Fenland, but we have tried, and of course it is always head wind here so that has helped. We plan to complete around 70 miles on each of the two days.

"We have set a target of £10,000 and have around £400 donated already from friends and family, but we ideally want more people to get behind us and sponsor us.

"We know there was a lot of support when we first talked about getting the track, but unfortunately Covid knocked everything on the head for a while, now we can get back in action.

To donate, visit:https://uk.gofundme.com/f/the-wheelz-project-march-pumptrack which has been set up by Grant Brownlow.

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