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Father and daughter smash fundraising challenge with 100 mile bike ride

PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 September 2019

Lovisa and Jamie heading out on their challenge Picture: JAMIE YATES

Lovisa and Jamie heading out on their challenge Picture: JAMIE YATES

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Great Blakenham schoolgirl Lovisa Yates has raised almost £2,000 for homeless charity Shelter after cycling from Ipswich to London.

Lovisa on her intrepid bike ride down to London Picture: JAMIE YATESLovisa on her intrepid bike ride down to London Picture: JAMIE YATES

Lovisa Yates, 9, and her dad Jamie took on the challenge of cycling from their Great Blakenham home to the London HQ of the charity.

The pair had previously cycled from Ipswich to Norwich last year, raising more than £500 in the process.

This year they decided to take on a bigger challenge.

"By the beginning of day one I think we were £30 short of hitting £1,000," said Mr Yates.

Lovisa relaxes after a busy day's cycling Picture: JAMIE YATESLovisa relaxes after a busy day's cycling Picture: JAMIE YATES

"So we set off at around 7.30 am on the Saturday morning. We cycled through Constable country and Stratford St Mary."

The pair clocked up around 47 miles on their first day using major cycling routes to stay off larger roads as much as possible.

Initially father and daughter were due to finish the day in Tiptree but after failing to find an ice cream shop the pair decided to travel eight miles further to Witham.

Lovisa and her dad returned home for the evening and caught the train to Witham the next day to start the next leg toward Epping Forest.

Lovisa takes a break as the pair make their way up the canals towards central London Picture: JAMIE YATESLovisa takes a break as the pair make their way up the canals towards central London Picture: JAMIE YATES

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"There were a lot of hills," said Mr Yates, "there was about 1,000ft of climbing to do. It was a tough day for both of us."

Fortunately for the pair the start to their final day saw them go downhill very quickly as they headed towards London.

On their way the family went past homeless people living under bridges in London, which Mr Yates said highlighted the necessity of their fundraising efforts.

Lovisa and staff from Shelter enjoy a picnic on the roof after the ride Picture: JAMIE YATESLovisa and staff from Shelter enjoy a picnic on the roof after the ride Picture: JAMIE YATES

Lovisa and her father finally made it to the Shelter HQ at lunchtime on Monday.

Mr Yates said: "The arrival was fantastic, it had me in tears. There were people shouting and hanging out of windows to cheer."

Lovisa added: "I found it was fun spending time with dad and exploring new places but I found it hard going up the hills."

The pair then spent time with the staff at Shelter before Lovisa got a well earned treat - a trip to the fountains in Hyde Park.

The final fundraising total for the challenge stands at £1,830.

Lovisa has enjoyed her latest challenge and is pleased with her total but is still considering her next project.

"Maybe not cycling," said Lovisa, "but I am not sure what I would like to do next."

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