Their training has been hampered by COVID and injuries, but Phil Milanes and his friends Andy Morris and Dave Robinson are now geared-up to take on a Land’s End to Bristol cycling challenge for charity.
The self-proclaimed ‘three old men’, who are all in their 70s and 80s, hope to raise more than £1,500 for Julia’s House children’s hospice. The Wiltshire charity relies almost entirely on donations to provide a lifeline of care for the most seriously ill children and their families in the county.
“Julia’s House thoroughly deserves any money we can raise,” said Andy, aged 72, from Urchfont. “It’s lovely that they support the whole family, as well as caring for the very seriously ill children.”
At 81 years old, Phil is the oldest of the cycling trio and it was his idea to take on the 375-mile challenge.
“Dave and I are hardened cyclists, so Phil asked us if we’d do the challenge with him,” said Andy. “We hoped to complete the challenge in April, but Phil came down with COVID during training and he needed time to recover.”
The active trio have each faced significant challenges and heartbreak in their own life. Phil has previously suffered a stroke and had a knee replacement, Andy has suffered a benign brain tumour and Dave, 74, sadly lost his daughter due to a heart condition when she was in her early twenties.
“We’ve all been through a lot and it’s made us determined to make the most out of life,” said Andy.
With training now back on track, the cycling team from Urchfont and Chitterne are feeling positive that they’ll complete their challenge over five days, from Monday 23 May, cycling back home from Bristol on Saturday 28 May.
“The hardest part will definitely be the terrain in Cornwall,” said Andy. “There’s no escaping the hills and you’ve just got to get over them and hope the wind is on your side.”
Julia’s House Fundraising Administrator Nicky Clack, said, “We’re so pleased that Phil, Andy and Dave have been able to go ahead with their cycling challenge for Julia’s House. We’ll be cheering them over every hill on the way! We’re almost entirely reliant on donations to fund our vital care for families of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, so their support and every pound raised will make an incredible difference.”
Support Phil, Andy and Dave and make a donation to Julia’s House on their Just Giving page.