Firms get on their bikes for charity

Simon Dixon is ready to ride.

Simon Dixon is ready to ride.

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GENEROUS businessmen from two Ilkeston firms are swapping suits for saddles over the next fortnight to cycle a combined total of 900 miles for good causes.

One team of charitable cyclists from the Manners Industrial Estate are no strangers to epic bike rides as this will be their fifth in aid of The Prostate Cancer Charity.

NILABE120502c2, Charity cycle for charity by workers from Skymark, Manners ave Ilkeston. Kevin Atkins, Alan Heappey, Matthew Harvey, Elisa Taylor and Paul Walker.

NILABE120502c2, Charity cycle for charity by workers from Skymark, Manners ave Ilkeston. Kevin Atkins, Alan Heappey, Matthew Harvey, Elisa Taylor and Paul Walker.

The team of eight from Skymark Packaging International are hoping to raise £2,500 for their 250-mile ‘Challenge the Dragon’ ride from Holyhead to Cardiff – the biggest the team has faced since they started the annual events in 2007.

Operations manager Alan Heappey said they hope to eventually raise a total of £10,000 for the charity.

“It’s going to be a very challenging ride,” said Alan, who sets off for Wales with the team on Monday.

“It’s one of the toughest Sustrans routes you can do – people do it for the challenge so it’ll be fun to see if we can all make it.”

The team includes Paul Walker, Paul Hutsby, Andrew Hutsby, Stuart Heappey and Mark Capewell – all employees at the firm, which sells packaging for toilet roll all over the world.

Visit www.justgiving.com/Skymark-Riders to add to the team’s donations.

n On the other side of town, Simon Dixon, director at Smiths of Ilkeston showroom off Station Road, is aiming to complete an epic 650-mile ride across France in just seven days.

He flies out to Biarritz in the south-west of the country next Thursday with a team of six friends, including fellow Ilkeston businessman Julian Baker, of Personal Touch Financial Services.

Carrying all their own kit including tents and sleeping bags, the team follow a route of cycle paths and minor roads to reach Cherbourg in the north to catch the ferry home by May 25.

All proceeds go to Rainbow Children’s Hospice in Loughborough.

Simon, 42, said: “We are doing this partly for a bit of fun and partly to raise some cash for a very deserving charity.

“So please dig deep.”

Add to Simon and the team’s total at www.justgiving.com/Simon-Dixon5.