Cycling to remember their friend Chris

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A GROUP of 10 young men who are not generally cyclists took on the challenge of cycling from Aberdeen to Leek, Staffordshire, in an effort to raise funds for a charity called Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

They are all members of Aberdeen University Cricket Club.

The reason they cycled to Leek was because that was the home town of Chris Parr, a former captain of the university team who passed away in his sleep in July of last year aged just 21 due to a heart condition he did not know he had.

He was a fit and lively young man with a vibrant personality and his totally unexpected death sparked the boys into action to raise money for CRY.

Andy Wallace is from Carnoustie and plays cricket for Forfarshire. Others from the local area are Grant Jamieson, Graham Oliver and Andy Russell.

The group, supported by a minibus, set off from Aberdeen and passed through Arbroath and Carnoustie, over the Tay to Glenrothes, over the Forth Road Bridge, through the minefield of Edinburgh’s cycle paths, past the borders on the A68/A7 to Carlisle (rush hour in Carlisle is best done on a bike) and Penrith, over Shap, through Lancaster, to the St Helens area and eventually to Leek Cricket Club.

They endured many adventures on the way with a huge number of punctures and chains breaking.

The best crash award was won in a supermarket car park in Arbroath. They lost one person (again in Arbroath!) although he did turn up in Carnoustie!

But there were also many highlights including a drop-in to Macclesfield Town FC whose player Richard Butcher also unexpectedly passed away due to a heart condition.

Many of the participants will probably never straddle a bike again, but they have raised a significant amount of money for a very good, if not well-known cause, in honour of a dear friend in the hope that other families will not suffer the same devastation. Anyone who would like to donate can do so at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/ChristopherParr_1

To date they have raised the marvellous sum of £5,726.17.