EIGHT hardy cyclists have completed a mammoth bike ride to help a poorly baby.
Rik Osborn, dad of one-year-old Oliver Osborn, and seven pals have finished a 147-mile Coast to Coast bike ride, from Whitehaven, in Cumbria, to Roker in Sunderland.
The group raised about £4,500 for research into epilepsy, as Oliver suffers from a severe form of the illness and endures up to 100 seizures a day. Rik, who lives with partner Danielle Coils, 28, and Oliver and other son Charlie, three, in Wadham Close, Peterlee, completed the feat with Gaz Colledge, Kyle Osborn, Greg O’Brien, Paul Fletcher, Chris Baker, Christopher Hall and James Hall, with David Purvis and Colin Docherty in a support vehicle.
Rik said: “It was tiring. My tyre popped while coming down a hill, I flew down the hill and the bike went under me. And 10 miles off the finish Greg came off his bike and got a hairline fracture on his wrist. When we got back to Roker the lifeguard took a look at it and he got X-rayed at Sunderland Royal Hospital.”
But Rik added: “I was in agony afterwards, but it’s been fantastic. We had blistering heat on the first day, it teemed down on the second day and on the third day it was just nice.”
He said it was emotional to be met by 30 family and friends at the finish line, including Hays Travel worker Danielle, Oliver and Charlie.
“Charlie came running up to us once I had dipped my wheel in the sea, and gave me a big cuddle and Oliver was there with a welcome banner,” added Rik.
Oliver hit the headlines last month when the Star reported that the family were exploring cannabis as a way of controlling his condition.
Now Rik is preparing for his second challenge of the month, when he and 22 members of staff from his former firm Steadfast Group, based in Peterlee, take part in the Three Peaks Challenge.
On Saturday the team aim to climb all three major UK peaks – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike, in the Lake District, and Mount Snowdon - in 24 hours.