Edinburgh cyclist joins gruelling 180-mile charity bike ride

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An Edinburgh man is among more than 50 cyclists who have set off an a gruelling 180-mile charity bike ride from York.

Jason Bibb is taking part in the three-day ride which ends in Warwick – the home town of the late Molly Ollerenshaw, whose charity is being supported.

Molly Olly’s Wishes was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.

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It was set up to support children with life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

Jason Bibb (inset) with his fellow cyclists at the start of their journeyJason Bibb (inset) with his fellow cyclists at the start of their journey
Jason Bibb (inset) with his fellow cyclists at the start of their journey

Months of training culminated in the cyclists saddling up at York Minster on Friday where they were officially seen on their way by the city’s Sheriff.

They are following a route through The Pennines and Derbyshire before arriving at The Durham Ox in Shrewley.

Jason, 49, said: “I have three children of my own and I can only imagine the anguish the Ollerenshaws had to go through with Molly’s journey.

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Unconditionally, every child should receive the best of care. If they cannot through the traditional system, Molly Ollys offers the child, and their families, true support at a time when they are experiencing the worst life has to offer.

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“Every family, in troubling times, should have Molly Ollys and everyone should try to help a charity that touches the most in need during difficult times.”

Jason said this was his “small way of helping” adding: “The distance is not insignificant, neither is the elevation each day, but if the weather turns, it could be an interesting few days for the team.

“For me, I have already seen the finish line, as whatever we go through cannot come close to what Molly experienced. Nothing will stop me from getting to Warwick.”

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The ride is also being backed by former England footballer Ben Foster, who hails from nearby Leamington Spa.

Foster, an avid cyclist, produces a YouTube channel called The Cycling GK – and has put his weight behind the epic challenge, involving 52 riders from across the UK, via a special video message.

He said: “I have been to one of the Molly Ollys’ annual balls, and I am aware of the wonderful work that the charity does to emotionally support children across the UK with life-threatening illnesses.

“I wish all of the cyclists taking part the very best of luck; 185 miles is tough but I know they will remember what Molly and all the other children have been through so they will complete the challenge and I hope they raise lots of money for Molly Ollys.”

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The charity’s mascot is a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. Part of more than £3m raised to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Rachel said: “We decided to do this cycle event in 2022 to celebrate 10 years of Molly’s legacy. It is a special route for us as York is one of the last places we – as a family – visited before Molly died so it holds poignant memories.”

To make a donation, visit www.mollyolly.co.uk

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