‘Ride for precious lives’.

Bideford Blues runners get back in the saddle for children’s hospice.

Members of Bideford Amateur Athletic Club are swapping running vests for cycling jerseys in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for Children’s Hospice South West this summer.

A team of six runners are taking part in ‘Ride for Precious Lives’, a classic three-day 205-mile cycle from Cornwall to North Somerset, via the charity’s three children’s hospices.

David Eldridge, Candy Jewell, Keith Shapland, Gemma Steele, Ashley Jewell and Stuart Wilson are also hoping to raise £1,000 each for the charity, which runs three children’s hospices, including Little Bridge House in Fremington, North Devon.

It is the second time a team from the club, known as the Blues, has taken part in Ride for Precious Lives, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year.

Keith, also a member of the Blues on Bikes team that took part in the 2016 ride, said: “It’s hard work but an incredible three days riding with everyone.

It can be quite heart-breaking to visit the hospices and see what some of the kids and their families are going through. It costs so much to keep these hospices going so it’s very rewarding to do it for such a special charity.”

Earlier this month, the Blue on Bikes team took part in an all-day static cycle in Sainsbury’s Barnstaple, clocking up a total of 221.4 miles on the day.

Bideford-based Anyonecann Health and Fitness provided the static bikes for the day and supporters were able to guess how many miles the team would cover in return for a donation, with the closest guess receiving a framed limited edition Giclee print from Tarka Art, also in Bideford.

Members of the team are boosting their fundraising efforts by taking part in other challenge events. In October, Candy took part in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon, while in April, David will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon.

The team has also raised money by selling raffle tickets at the Blues’ Christmas party, and is planning a race night and a quiz night. The Blues club is also offering runners the chance to collect medals for runs they may have missed by taking part in virtual runs, with £2 from every entry donated to Blues on Bike fundraising.

To sponsor the team, visit


There are still place available for this year’s Ride for Precious Lives, which takes place from July 12-14.

Children’s Hospice South West event fundraiser Jayne Jarrett said: “It’s perfect for cyclists of all abilities – from beginners and social cyclists to peloton pros!

If you or your friends or work colleagues are looking for a brilliant challenge this summer, grab your bikes and join us on a classic three-day West Country cycle ride.

Your entry fee includes two nights’ hotel accommodation with cooked breakfasts, evening meal and entertainment, pub lunch each day you cycle, water stops and a full support crew including daily bike check, first aid, mechanics and luggage carry.

All riders will also get a bespoke Ride for Precious Lives cycling jersey and we have 20- and 10- week training programmes to help get to in tip-top shape, as well as support to help you raise money for CHSW.”

For more information visit www.chsw.org.uk/ride or speak to Jayne on 01271 325 270 or email jayne.jarrett@chsw.org.uk


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