This was the challenge of a lifetime for some steely determined ladies who have completed Warrington’s This Girl Can programme.
Four women, who took part in the 12-week exercise programme, have cycled their way from one side of England to the other.
Jean Booth from Penketh, Angela Cosgrove from Stockton Heath, and Jeni Grace and Karen Jones, who are both from Great Sankey, rode their bikes more than 200 miles, alongside their friends from the wider Cheshire Area.
The ride started with the group dipping their back wheels in the sea on the west coast at Whitehaven, Cumbria and ended with them dipping their front wheels in the sea on the east coast at Seaham.
Day one saw the group ride more than 70 miles from Whitehaven, crossing the hills and valleys of the Lake District to Hartside, where they faced a hellish climb of 7500ft before a wonderful descent into Alston to rest for the night.
Day two started with a full cooked breakfast, which was quickly regretted when the group had to go straight into the hardest climb of the weekend, as they tackled the Killinghope Ascent to leave Cumbria and enter Durham. Over the course of day two, they covered 50 miles and climbed 3000ft before reaching the end of their epic journey in the seaside town of Seaham.
Lou Shannon, from LiveWire, organised the challenge and supported the ladies on route. She said: “When we reached the North Sea, the whole group were absolutely jubilant and there were many tears of absolute joy at the realisation of the shear achievement they had accomplished.
“The challenge is traditionally completed in three days but due to work commitments, the This Girl Can graduates crammed their challenge into two days, making it a great deal harder.
“One of the riders, Jean, had so much fun she even joked that the group should complete the challenge in one day next time.”
This is not the first time graduates of the This Girl Can programme have pushed themselves to complete a coast to coast ride. Some of the group cycled from Widnes to Hull in support of Warrington’s City of Culture Bid back in May.
Lou, added: “I am over the moon for the group to have completed another epic challenge.
“I knew that with team work and moral support we would get each other through it and that is exactly what happened.
“We could not have done it without the volunteer support crew who looked after the riders, driving support vehicles across the country providing food and drink at regular intervals.
“The self-led packages many companies provide don’t offer the level of support some people need and this makes these challenges out of reach for many. I take pride in the fact we can put together something different and get people through.”