THEY say the dreaded number 13 is unlucky.
But one intrepid team of colleagues made up of that figure is hoping luck will be on their side when they tackle a gruelling charity bike ride.
The 13 workers, from Hartlepool Marina-based JDR Cables, along with a support driver, have set off on the strenuous 170-mile Border Reivers Whitehaven to Tynemouth bike ride in aid of Hartlepool and District Hospice, the company’s chosen charity this year.
The route is hailed as in some ways superior to the Coast to Coast and takes riders through some of the most isolated areas of northern wilderness.
They kicked off the ride from Whitehaven, Cumbria, at 9am today and over the next three days will be making their way back to the North East.
Today will see the group cycling to Carlisle, tomorrow they will ride from Carlisle to Kielder and Sunday will see them hoping to be in Tynemouth by 4.30pm.
JDR’s Border Reivers Cyclist Team 2013 consists of operations director Don Rosie, Mick Smee, Brian Littlewood, Michael Parkin, Andy Gray, Neil Dixon, Neil Robinson, Mark Doble, Luke Anderson, James Cairns, Lee Johnson, John Keighley, Graeme Cox and Wayne Parker is the support driver.
JDR staff completed the Coast to Coast Whitehaven to Sunderland ride last year as part of a series of events that raised £11,500 for Zoe’s Place children’s hospice.
So far, events held by the company this year have raised a fantastic £10,500 for the hospice.
Production engineer Mark, 29, from Catcote Road, also took part in last year’s ride.
He said ahead of the ride: “Last year’s ride for Zoe’s Place was fantastic – five or six of this year’s team took part.
“On the last day we had really bad weather as we caught the back end of a hurricane from America, but fingers crossed the weather this weekend should be okay.
“We decided to do a longer ride this year and push ourselves a little bit more.
“I’ve done a bit of training for this one but hadn’t really touched my bike for about 10 months before that.”
Mandy Marriner, JDR’s receptionist/operations administrator, said: “With a great team spirit in mind and a huge success last year during a fantastic Coast to Coast the team decided to take a different route and chose The Border Reivers route.”
Carol Sennett, the hospice’s corporate fundraiser, said: “I’d like to wish the JDR team all the very best for this massive challenge and I have every confidence that it will be another great success.
“We have enjoyed a fantastic partnership with JDR throughout the year and their support continues to go from strength to strength.”