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Walsall cyclist raises hundreds of pounds from front lawn

By Gurdip Thandi | Aldridge | News | Published:

A keen cyclist clocked up a ton of miles to support a good cause – despite coronavirus putting a spoke in the wheels of a charity ride.

Pete Kelsall

Pete Kelsall, from Aldridge, jumped on the seat of his turbo trainer and cycled for 100 miles without leaving his front lawn to help raise around £900 for the Sutton Coldfield-based Kids UK charity.

The 62-year-old was part of a group of 15 who were due to take part in the 100 mile ‘Cycle to the Sea’ which would have seen them ride out to New Brighton on the Wirral from Aldridge.

But the outbreak of Covid-19 scuppered the event, which meant the charity – of which he is a trustee – would miss out on one of it’s biggest sources of fund-raising.

Instead, Mr Kelsall, set up his turbo trainer at his home and completed the journey with the support of intrigued passers-by, well-wishers and Andi Markham from Kids UK.

And his efforts saw him collect almost £200 in donations thrown into his bucket on Sunday to go with more than £700 online.

Mr Kelsall, who works at Trikes and Bikes in Sutton, said: “In terms of how I’m feeling now, well, I know I’ve done it.

“We normally do a one way 100 mile ride and arrange transport back – we have a trailer and a minibus and ship everyone home.

“We couldn’t do that this year because of the return transport but I was still determined to do something.

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“It’s an important bit of the fundraising for our charity, we are not a big charity, and I’ve got a turbo trainer so I thought, why not?

“I’ve got a software package so you can put the route on it and it will follow on a map and it will simulate the gradients. It’s a bit more than just sitting on a turbo trainer and watching the miles clock up.

“We had a big marquee borrowed from work, put it on the grass at the front of the house and then had a TV screen so people could see the route plotted on it.

“Quite a lot of people were papping their horns and waving as they went by, I put some signage up to tell everyone what it was about and a bucket so that people can chuck some money in and they were really generous.”

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Kids UK is a charity that provides Christian faith based support in schools and churches to children and families, including mentoring and helping those with issues such as bereavement.

Mr Kelsall said: “Funds will help keep the staff team going. Andi has been doing a lot on the phone and online even during lock down.

“It just seemed a shame, especially on the 20th year, to say we can’t do anything so I decided to use the kit and space I’ve got to do something for them."

Gurdip Thandi

By Gurdip Thandi
@Gurdo

Local Democracy Reporter covering Walsall.

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