Coasting through Norwood's challenge

Ray Lennard, Steve Adams, Lynne Gilbert, Jonathan Gilbert and Russell Mischon

Ray Lennard, Steve Adams, Lynne Gilbert, Jonathan Gilbert and Russell Mischon

A pedal powered £250,000 was generated for Norwood, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and the Down's Syndrome Association on Sunday as more than 1,300 cyclists joined the annual Capital to Coast challenge.

Cyclists aged from eight to 76 had the choice of a 60-mile ride from Thames Ditton to the Hove seafront, a circular 60-mile Hove to Hove route, or a half-distance option taking them from Haywards Heath to Hove.

They were provided with plentiful refreshments and mechanical support and weary finishers took advantage of the food stalls and sports massage facilities.

Around £150,000 was raised by the 500-strong Norwood contingent. It included 13-year-old JFS pupil Adam Stephens from Finchley, who rode alongside his father Richard. Adam has raised more than £1,000, asking supporters for donations to mark his barmitzvah at New North London Synagogue.

Barmitzvah boy Adam Stephens tackling Devil's Dyke on the South Downs

Barmitzvah boy Adam Stephens tackling Devil's Dyke on the South Downs

"On any birthday when I receive presents, it is very easy to forget that there are other people out there who aren't as fortunate as myself. This is why my dad and I decided to cycle the 60 miles from London to Brighton."

His father added that "Adam wanted to give something back. He feels it's an important part of the barmitzvah process. We both completed the course and enjoyed every minute of it - especially the hills."

Jon Feuchtwanger from Ravenswood, the charity's Berkshire residential community for people with learning disabilities, was among the tandem participants.

The 62-year-old has a mild learning disability and a communication impairment, but said through a speech therapist: "I like bike rides. They are so much fun.

"I have met so many special people. Bike rides are happy times."

Norwood's Ian Tate said the fundraiser was "a great day out. All the money raised will go to three vital causes providing life-changing services to some of the most vulnerable people in society."

    Last updated: 3:56pm, July 14 2011