Friends defy the weather to tackle the 100-mile challenge

Jackie Boults (left in pink) and Sandra Broadley (right in pink)
Jackie Boults (left in pink) and Sandra Broadley (right in pink)

FIRM friends Sandra Broadley and Jackie Boults have been cycling for pleasure for years but recently decided to ‘up their game’ and set themselves the challenge of getting in training for a charity bike ride.

Jackie, a shop assistant at Shelf Village Bakery, Hipperholme, and Sandra, who works at Asda in Bradley, were strictly Sunday cyclists until they heard about the ‘100 miles, 100 ladies, 200 wheels’ event.

“With our husbands Steve and Leo we had been cycling along the canal towpaths from Brighouse for the past three years, generally going towards Lancashire and doing about 20 to 25 miles on Sunday mornings.

“It was a pleasant way to keep fit and became part of our routine,” said Sandra of Wood Croft, Rastrick.

“But then we saw an advertisement for the charity bike ride starting in Ikley to raise funds for the Marie Curie hospice in Bradford and it seemed like a good idea to take up the challenge and raise some funds for a good cause.”

They were among a group of 108 women who cycled from Ikley to Selby, via Wetherby and York, and back again, raising £20,000 along the way. The event was started last year by sisters Claire Macina and Adele Wilkin who had first-hand experience of the care offered at the Bradford hospice after their mother battled cancer for 14 years.

Said Jackie, of Villa Mount, Wyke, “We had about six months to prepare and gradually increased the distance we travelled each week until we tried a practice run of 80 miles two weeks before the event.

“On the day of the ride itself it poured with rain and was windy most of the day. It took us about 10 hours but we managed to complete it. We were exhausted from cycling into the wind but it was very worthwhile and we would definitely do it again.”

Both women, who met at primary school, are keen on keeping fit and take Zumba classes and go running.

“I believe I am fitter now than when I was in my 20s,” said Sandra. “We enjoy keeping fit and it is important to both of us. Cycling is great because the people you meet on the way are so friendly and helpful to you.”

Sandra was inspired to get involved with fundraising for cancer charities when husband Leo had a brush with cancer a few years ago. “He is fine now thankfully. The Race for Life is an event that is very close to my heart,” she said.

Meanwhile Jackie is in training for a 40-mile ride from Keighley to Leeds at Bank Holiday weekend ro raise money for an appeal to send two children from a hard-hit family on holiday.

“We just love being out on our bikes,” said Jackie. “I used to look out of the window and if it was raining I wouldn’t bother to go to go out but now I just get wrapped up and go anyway!”

l Marie Curie Nurses provide free care to patients with terminal cancer and other illnesses in their own homes and the charity’s hospices.

The charity has organised ‘Walk Ten’ on Sunday August 28 at Bolton Abbey, part of a national series of walks being held throughout the summer to raise money for the local Marie Curie nursing service.

The 10k twilight walk starts at 7pm and the route takes in the stunning scenery surrounding Bolton Abbey from woodland to moorland, dramatic gorges and riverside paths, followed by a picnic. To register for the event contact 08700 340040.