Hundreds of riders are gearing up for a 60-mile bike fund-raiser this weekend in memory of a fallen Wearside war hero.
More than 200 people have signed up for this year’s Cuthy’s 200, a ride dedicated to Nathan Cuthbertson.
Nathan was aged just 19 when he was killed by a suicide bomber in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in June 2008.
Ever since then family and friends have held a charity bike ride to honour the memory and raise cash for worthy causes.
Riders will cycle from Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire back to Sunderland on Sunday.
Nathan’s dad Tom, 46, is one of those taking part in the event once again.
We’ve got 220 people signed up this year, which is up on 120 from 2014.Tom Cuthbertson, dad of Nathan Cuthbertson
“We’ll set off about 5am from Grindon Lane to get to Catterick and then bike back, hopefully by about 3.30pm,” said Tom, who is married to Nathan’s mum Carla, 42.
“We’ve got 220 people signed up this year, which is up on 120 from 2014.
“It was called Cuthy’s 200 because originally we did a 200-mile ride, but that was too much for some people.
“This route is about 60 miles, it’s nice and scenic and a beautiful ride really.”
Cash raised from rides in previous years has gone to good causes such as forces charity Brothers in Arms, the Salvation Army in Sunderland, the Parachute Regiment Association and the A690 Youth Project. We want to help anybody who is in need really,” added Tom, of Tunstall. We’ve passed on money to loads of different charities over the years.”
Bikers are to be meet with their family and friends at Ashbrooke Sports Club in West Lawn, with a family fun day, which begins at 1pm, with proceeds going to the appeal. “Everybody is welcome to come along,” said Tom. “There’ll be raffles, live music, face-painting for the kids and the ambulance and fire services will be bringing vehicles along too.
“There’s also a barbecue and disco once the riders get back.”