A HARTLEPOOL mum is taking part in a charity bike ride to raise awareness of AIDS.
The only way is south for fundraising mother-of-five and student Karen North as she embarks on a 545 mile gruelling charity bike ride to Essex.
The 46-year-old will replicate the AIDS Lifecycle that takes place every year from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise awareness and money for HIV/AIDS charities.
On Sunday, Karen will leave her Hartlepool home and travel to Sunderland and Newcastle before taking the Coast to Coast route to Cumbria along Hadrian’s Wall.
She will then head to Essex via Preston, Stoke-on-Trent, Northampton and Chelmsford before going to her hometown Thurrock, in Essex. She will also visit Emmerdale because of a recent storyline about HIV discrimination.
After watching a Hollywood film, Karen discovered the actress Traci Dinwiddie was taking part in the AIDS Lifecycle, and Karen, who has never done anything like this before and barely cycled, decided to celebrate her graduation by raising money and awareness of those suffering from the condition.
The Healthcare Science and Cardiac Physiology student may also wear a monkey costume between Hartlepool and Newcastle, a Roman costume along Hadrian’s Wall, and dressing as Robin Hood as she travels through Sherwood Forest.
Karen said: “It was by coincidence that I started reading more about Aids Lifecycle and I found it difficult to find out more about it, so I didn’t just want to raise money, I wanted to make people sit up and notice and raise awareness.” To sponsor Karen’s ride visit www.tofighthiv.org/goto/karennorth