Huddersfield cycle specialist Bike-Shed.com has thrown its weight behind Friday’s 155-mile charity ride from Highburton, Yorkshire, to Aberffraw, in Anglesey, which is raising money for the Isaac Nash Trust.
The ride will raise funds for both the RNLI and a local skate park – all in memory of 12-year-old Isaac Nash, who died after being swept out to sea at Aberffraw, last August, while on a family holiday. Despite an intensive search by both the Coastguard and North Wales Police, his body was never found.
The fundraiser is the brainchild of firefighter Will Basnett, 35, who marries Isaac’s aunt, Samantha, this summer, and will see more than 70 riders complete the journey from the youngster’s home town, to the small Welsh village, where the community was deeply affected by the tragedy.
Bike-Shed.com has backed the event not just with sponsorship but with logistical support, including providing support vehicles, mechanics, spare parts and the offer of a pre-service for all participants.
Basnett said: “Bike-Shed.com has provided fabulous support for us with all manner of logistical support and we’re very grateful to them. I’ve been overwhelmed really by the support we’ve received.
“Sadly, I knew Isaac for only two-and-a-half years, but he was a great lad and I wanted to do something to raise funds. I had the idea for the ride when I looked at a map and saw the distance between Highburton and Aberffraw – but I never imagined it would be this big.
“It’s not just people from Yorkshire; we have a couple riding who are coming up from Essex and a lad from Nottingham. We even have somebody coming over from Wales just to ride back.
“The support we’ve received from individuals and local companies – such as Bike-Shed.com – has been overwhelming and we’re really grateful to them all.”
Basnett had set an initial fundraising target of £10,000, but the group seems certain to smash that with a couple of individuals already having raised more than £1,000 each.
The ride organiser added: “I originally asked each cyclist to raise a minimum of £250 in sponsorship so I think we may even raise £15,000. Everybody’s rallied round and the enthusiasm for the ride has been great. We’ve had shirts printed so it should be quite a sight.
“But we are keeping a close eye on the weather. Neither Anglesey nor Yorkshire is exactly the Caribbean …”
The majority of the riders will complete the ride in two days, but a hardy 10 or so are to attempt it in one day – on Saturday. And it will complete a hectic week for Basnett who moved house, fittingly to Highburton, on Thursday.
A spokesman for Bike-Shed.com said: “Such a tragedy affects all the local communities involved and most people in Huddersfield would have been touched by the sad loss of such a young man. We are only too happy to be able to offer our support in some small way for Isaac’s family and such a very worthwhile cause.”
Bike-Shed.com is the cycling arm of one of the UK’s most successful sporting retail chains, Direct Golf, and opened its first store in Huddersfield a year ago.
n Donations to the ride, in aid of the Isaac Nash Trust can be made at www.localgiving.com/charity/theisaacnashtrust.