Bolton-le-Sands dance teacher’s cycle success

Photo Neil Cross
Popular dance teacher Alysia Gilda who has taken part in the John O Groats to Lands End cycle ride, raising more than �3,000 for her chosen charity
Photo Neil Cross Popular dance teacher Alysia Gilda who has taken part in the John O Groats to Lands End cycle ride, raising more than �3,000 for her chosen charity

A dance teacher has raised thousands in a 1,000 mile cycle ride for a charity who helped her son’s blood cancer battle.

Bolton-le-Sands dance teacher Alysia Gilda completed the 19-day-trek from Lands End to John o’Groats – raising more than £3,000.

Alysia was part of a group of 10 cycling across the length of Great Britain. The 60-year-old is overwhelmed over the support she has received on and after her gruelling journey.

She said: “I never in my wildest dreams expected so much support.

“It has taken me a week to even begin to come back down to earth. I can only say that I loved every minute of my bike ride and would do it all again.

“To ride the length of Britain from toe to tip, with fabulous scenery from three countries, eating Cornish pasties, haggis and Lancashire hotpot has been amazing. I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Alysia, wearing her Hotter brand shoes and leggings she cut to make into shorts to cycle in, powered her bike from Lands End to John o’Groats earlier last month to raise funds for the Lymphoma Association.

Her son Michael was diagnosed with stage four of non Hodgkin lymphoma in February last year and was told he may only have 10 years to live.

Lymphoma is the UK’s fifth most common cancer and every 40 minutes another person learns they have it.

Michael, who finished his treatment last October, came out to support his mum when she cycled through Garstang. He surprised his her when he held a family party to celebrate the halfway journey.

Two Australians, two Canadians, two people on a tandem bike and an 80-year-old man were part of the group.

Alysia even gained a “muscles” nickname after others were impressed with her stamina.

She said: “The longest day was in Scotland cycling up towards Lech Ski, where we visited the smallest polling station in Scotland.

“I got a bit home sick on one of the days, we went into a monastery and I had a moment of why am doing this!? But you just think, this is hard for me but what about the people having to have treatment?”

Donations are still coming in for Alysia who says the funds have more than exceeded her target.

When asked what advice she would give to anyone thinking about taking part in the cycle challenge, she said: “Just go and enjoy it!”