Cyclists tackle Ulster route to raise £43k

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Six friends who were celebrating their 40th birthdays decided to do something a little different to raise money for charity.

From October 2-4 the group - which included local men Peter Lynas and Stephen McKenzie - took on a gruelling three-day, 500km cycling challenge around the nine counties of Ulster.

On the Friday morning the group left the shores of Belfast Lough heading through the ancient hills of Armagh and Monaghan, past the mysteries of Lough Erne finishing day one in Bundoran on the wild Atlantic coast.

Day two saw the cyclists make their way north west through Strabane, Derry and Limavady.

The day included a wonderful afternoon cycling past Benone before a tough climb at Downhill before finishing at Portstewart Baptist Church.

The final day saw the group cycle along the world famous Causeway Coast, climbing up past Vanishing Lake, before heading down into Cushendall and following the coastline back to Belfast.

Fifteen cyclists completed the whole course, with the group being joined by another thirty cyclists at various points to help them along.

They set up a website with the aim of raising £40,000 for four charities.

They have raised over £43,000 so far which will be split between the Alzheimer’s Society, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Scripture Union NI and the Brain Tumour Charity.

The group received significant donations from First Trust Bank, Carson McDowell Solicitors and Lynas Foodservice.

Local businessman and director of the Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland, Peter Lynas, told the Coleraine Times, “It seemed like a great way to bless our community.

“Gideon, one of the riders who completed the whole course has an inoperable brain tumour which really spurred us on to raise as much money as possible.”

The riders covered their own costs making sure every donation will go directly to the four charities.

And they are thankful to family and friends who supported and cheered them all the way around Northern Ireland...