Brigid Night clocked up 333 miles with her friend Chris Hansen Jones on non-stop 24-hour tandem challenge. The distance they travelled on 23 July is the equivalent to cycling from Chester to Land’s End - the second-furthest distance a tandem has ever achieved.
Their challenging cycle ride took them through Cheshire and Shropshire countryside for a cause especially close to Brigid’s heart. Her three nephews live with Becker muscular dystrophy which causes muscles to weaken and waste over time. Brigid and Chris hope to raise more than £2,400 for MDUK to help fund the work MDUK does to provide support and enable research into muscle-wasting conditions.
Liam and twins Aaron and Ronan, who are now in their early 20s, have been passionate about all sorts of sports, including cycling and hockey, from a young age and the twins dreamed of becoming sportsmen before their symptoms progressed. They have had to stop playing the sports they love but have worked hard to become actively involved with coaching and video analysis.
My nephews all do their utmost to live their lives as fully as possible and not to be defined by their diagnosis. However, it’s impossible for anyone without a muscular dystrophy condition to know what inner challenges those living with an unpredictable and potentially life-limiting condition have to face. It must be very difficult and frightening at times.
Brigid and Chris completed this mega challenge on a shared tandem bike, adding a little extra joy to their task. “When people see you, they tend to double take and it seems to make people smile. It is great cycling as part of a team and much more fun than on a solo bike.”
Brigid explains she enjoys the teamwork element of tandem cycling with Chris, who she met through Frodsham Wheelers cycling club. “Not only is Chris, who is the President of the Frodsham Wheelers, a talented mechanic, but he also takes on most of the responsibility of being on the front so has to do all the steering and decisions of the gear changing."
She was excited to be taking on the task, “this challenge is the hardest cycle we’ve ever done - especially with the extra challenge of getting through the night - but we were really excited to be doing it. You don’t know what you are capable of until you try.”
Brigid looks forward to the funds that they’ve raised to go towards MDUK’s work and she particularly values the international conferences that MDUK organises, finding them really informative and helpful to better understand the complex conditions. “They provided us with links and support. I’m particularly pleased that Muscular Dystrophy UK funds research projects too.”