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Rugby aces’ bike ride for MND

Players from Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club and staff from The Tavern in Hale joined former British and Irish rugby aces for a charity bike ride.
Players from Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club and staff from The Tavern in Hale joined former British and Irish rugby aces for a charity bike ride.
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Players from Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club and staff from a newly opened restaurant near Milnthorpe joined former British and Irish Lions rugby aces in a charity bike ride.

Riding tandem from Lands End to John O’Groats, ex-international sportsmen including Ireland’s Rob Henderson, England’s Peter Winterbottom, and Wales Sevens Rhodri McAtee, enjoyed a pit stop at the newly reopened Tavern at Hale - day five of their epic challenge.

The charity ride is raising money for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation set up by former Scotland rugby international, Doddie Weir in his fight against Motor Neurone Disease. The team were welcomed for lunch by Tavern staff and supporters at what was roughly the half way point of the 900-mile long journey. Tavern co-owner, Steve Aynsley, chef Doug Fishwick and General Manager of sister restaurant No.17, Tom Ridding, plus players from Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club then joined the riders for one of the toughest sections of the ride up to Shap.

Steve Aynsley said: “We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming Doddie as a guest speaker to Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club on a few occasions in the past and we sadly lost one of our great club men to MND so we thought it would be a fitting opportunity to add our support to such an important cause.

Upon leaving, staff at The Tavern handed over £105 for the charity, which had just been collected that morning.

Former Ireland international, Rob Henderson said: “This is the first time on the ride that we’ve had a decent crowd to support us and join in and its brilliant. We don’t normally talk when we’re on the bike so having a bit of banter with extra people is great.

“This is comfortably the most I’ve ever done on a bike and I will never ever do it again. Its agony! It’s a one-off and as my tandem partner David said, we’re going to have pain for 10 days, but our backsides will get better…Doddie won’t. We’re hoping to have raised more than £25k by the end of the ride.”

Ex-England international, Peter Winterbottom added: “Doddie’s one of our own so when Rob and David came up with the idea over a pint earlier this year, we knew we had to do it.” To find out more about the ride visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/LEJOG?utm_term=ZyEz4JPgY.