Cyclists ride from Northampton to Stockholm to raise money for hospital and charity

The group has raised £32,000 of their £60,000 target so far

By Megan Hillery
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 5:30 pm

Fourteen cyclists have begun to cycle from Northampton to Stockholm in just nine days to raise money for two local charities.

The Numbnuts cycling group kickstarted their journey from the Northampton Saints Stadium on Thursday, June 23 and are set to cover a total of 1,733km before they arrive in Stockholm on Friday, July 1.

Each day will consist of up to eight hours of riding on flat ground, covering around 180km. The Numbnuts are currently on day six of this gruelling challenge, riding from Copenhagen to Halmstad.

The Numbnuts pictured at their starting point at the Northampton Saints Stadium in Franklin's Gardens.

Numbnut cyclist, Justin Gomershall, speaking with the Chronicle & Echo from Halmstad, said this is the group’s biggest ride to date.

He said: “Emotionally, for me, it has been a rollercoaster because I did not have the time in my life to get fit for this ride. It is the first ride I have missed out on since we started up in 2014 and I do not enjoy sitting in the van but I would rather be in the middle of the pack and enjoying the laughs and banter.”

The ride has been entirely self funded with each cyclist putting up to £2,000 of their own money towards hotel and food expenses.

The team have raised £32,000 of their £60,000 target so far and all the money raised will be distributed between the Northampton Saints Foundation and the Willow Ward at Northampton General Hospital.

Justin, talking about the Numbnuts, added: “They are an amazing bunch, every single one of them is from Northamptonshire and the two charities are close to everyone’s hearts. I couldn’t be prouder of them all.”

Amongst the riders is Mark Johnson, who has received life-saving care at Northampton General Hospital’s Willow Ward, which specialises in caring for patients who have had vascular surgery.

Numbnut cyclist, Mark Johnson, said: “I was in Northampton General Hospital for a couple of operations and was looked after incredibly well by the Willow Ward so, when I left, I wanted to say thank you to the nurses and doctors who looked after me and was told if I turned up with a box of chocolates or some wine, I’d get shot on the spot by my surgeon.”

Mark wanted to do something that would really make a difference by providing funds to the ward to ensure staff have personal space to unwind during their break times.

The Numbnuts comprise a group of friends who came together to embark on bike adventures over the years with a view to supporting different charities along the way. Their quirky name was derived from one of the member’s nieces remarking how one might feel after a long bike ride.

The Numbnuts undertook their first challenge in 2015 with 10 riders cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The team has since grown to 25 cyclists and they have since raised almost £70,000 for charities over the last five years.

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