Ipswich: Cyclist’s ride for love of her dad

A CYCLIST has started out on an incredible charity ride in memory of her father.

Rachel Crisp, 38, of Penshurst Road set off from Land’s End on Sunday to cycle 990 miles to John o’Groats in Scotland.

Rachel chose to take on the amazing challenge to raise funds for the Somersham Ward support group, the cancer ward at Ipswich Hospital where her father was treated before he died in 1994.

Before the ride, she said: “I decided to do this a year ago as I wanted to do something in memory of my dad, Richard Newman (or Dick as he was known).

“My dad was a policeman and a very keen cyclist who rode with the Wolsey Road Club and the CTC. He did this ride in the 1980s with some collegues of his.

“When I decided to do this I was not a cyclist by any means and started training on my old mountain bike which weighed a ton – and I later discovered had a buckled wheel.”

Rachel has since bought a road bike for her challenge and has trained for more than a year, riding more than 2,000 training miles. She said: “It has been a physical and an emotional journey getting to this point. My training has included lows, early Sunday mornings, very wet and windy rides and many tears.

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“It has also included many highs – seeing my mileage increase, especially riding my first century ride, getting up hills and still being able to breathe and feeling close to my Dad again. I am sure I will also encounter many highs and lows over the next two weeks, but no high will compare to reaching that famous sign at John o’Groats.”

Rachel expects the challenge to take two weeks, riding an average of 70 miles a day.

To support Rachel’s challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/RachelCrispLEJoG

Are you taking on a charity challenge? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.