Bikers rev up for 100-mile ride in aid of Sunderland respite centre

Charity bikers before setting off from Castletown to ride to Barnard Castle, raising money for Grace House.
Charity bikers before setting off from Castletown to ride to Barnard Castle, raising money for Grace House.
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A host of characters put their feet to the pedal on a 100-mile charity ride to help out a respite centre for poorly youngsters.

The group of 25 set off from Sunderland and journeyed to Barnard Castle, in County Durham, in aid of Grace House, using vintage bikes. 

It’s the third time the lads have held the ride, but the second time they have raised cash for the charity.

Among those taking part were riders dressed as Mr T, Dick Dastardly, Beetlejuice, Batman and the Mask.

The event is supported by Maine Road Garage in Southwick, Millfield Motor Services, Hylton Road, Scots Bank Motors in Southwick and Burn Garage in Houghton. 

Steve Milner, who owns Northeast Auto Repairs in Castletown, was part of the fun and it was his business from where the group set off on their ride. 

Steve, 46, who also manages 120 children at Washington Athletics Football Club, said: “We’ve had a great day even though we got a bit wet riding down to Barnard Castle.

“It took us four hours to get there and about three to get back.

“We went over the moors on the return journey.”

The lads stayed overnight in Barnard Castle before coming home.

“There were loads of people donating in Barnard Castle when we stopped there, which is fantastic,” added Steve.

“We’re still waiting on the final total but I think it will be between £2,000 and £3,000.

“This is the second time we have raised money for Grace House because we made £1,700 for the centre in 2014. It’s a great local charity supporting disabled children in our region.”

Steve would like the ride to be an annual charity event and is also hoping to include a summer classic bike ride to Whitby, in North Yorkshire, and back.

Karen Maclennan, senior fundraiser at Grace House, said: “I think that is great that the riders have chosen Grace House to benefit from their classic bike ride.  Thank you to all the riders.”