Riders complete Dublin to Sunderland cycle ride for SAFC charity

Riders arrive at The Stadium of Light after completing the Dublin to Sunderland bike ride for The Foundation of Light.
Riders arrive at The Stadium of Light after completing the Dublin to Sunderland bike ride for The Foundation of Light.
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PEDAL power has raised about £40,000 for Sunderland AFC’s charity the Foundation of Light.

The foundation’s second annual Dublin to Sunderland bike ride saw a team of more than 30 riders cover 380 miles in five days, from Dublin’s Carlton Hotel to the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland-born businessman Gavin Slark, boss of the Dublin-based DIY retailer and builder’s merchants Grafton Group, which was principal sponsor of the event, told the Echo: “It was absolutely brilliant.

“We have had boiling sunshine all the way.

“We took a different route this year. It was tougher, with more mountains, but everybody made it and it was a tremendous experience, with brilliant people.”

Michael Oliver, of Oliver’s Dental Studio, was among those taking part.

“I am absolutely shattered,” he said. “Sunderland has never looked better. Four hundred miles is a long way and it is good to be home.”

The Foundation of Light works with more than 42,000 people across the region every year and CEO Lesley Spuhler said the ride was expected to double last year’s £20,000 total.

“We hope to raise about £40,000, so I am absolutely over the moon,” she said.

“Everyone has had a good time, but it is still a lot of hard work.”

Other sponsors were Carlton Group, Cycle World (Sunderland), Dunelm Glass, Giant UK and Reds.