CHARITY cyclist Chris Moon is back in the saddle today after finding a last-minute replacement for his stolen bike.
The 34-year-old has spent six months training for the 140-mile C2C Cycle Route, in aid of Cancer Research and a new day-care ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
But last week his plans were thrown into chaos after thieves broke into a shed at his home in Eden Vale, and pinched his mountain bike.
However, following an appeal the floor tiler has now returned to the road.
The Echo was inundated with offers of help after we told how yobs stole Chris’s GT Aggressor XC, worth up to £500.
Today, dad-of-one Chris was riding alongside his fellow fund-raisers on the punishing three-day event.
“I want to thank everyone who got in touch and offered me their bikes,” he said.
“I can’t believe how many people came forward to help.”
He also thanked fellow gentoo colleague, plumber Stevie Oakes, from Hendon, whose bike he is using over the weekend.
“It’s pretty much exactly the same as the one that was stolen,” he added. “The tyres are slightly different, but that’s about it.”
The 10 cyclists, who met through city-centre pub Chaplins, are following a route from Whitehaven, Cumbria, making two overnight stops at Penrith and Nenthead, before finishing at Roker on Sunday.
Rider Michael Parkinson, 43, from Ashbrooke, said: “Chaplins has a history of raising money for charities and most people have experiences of cancer in the family. My uncle died of leukaemia, so it’s a charity I feel strongly about.”
The team will be accompanied by a support van, driven by fellow Chaplins’ regular and pal Mick McGlenn, 55, also from Ashbrooke.
The lads will also be holding a charity night in the pub on Saturday, August 13.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/michaelparkinson1801.