A GROUP of novice cyclists from York is saddling up for a mammoth charity challenge.

The 12 women are planning to take on a tough four-day ride to raise funds for local good cause York Against Cancer.

The friends first met through Breeze Rides, women-only cycle outings led by female British Cycling-trained volunteers.

Volunteer ride leader Jess Walsh-Banks has taken the other 11 relatively novice riders under her wing to get them into shape for the planned 160-mile ride from Stamford Bridge to the coast and the North York Moors.

The group, which will set off on May 30, has been undertaking training designed to get the pals through the gruelling 11,000ft of hill climbing that will take them to Scarborough, Whitby and Hutton-le-Hole, before the return journey to Stamford Bridge.

Cyclist Kate Mallender said: “Jess is our mother hen and we are her 11 little chicks.

“She has really brought us on and we are hoping that with her expertise gradually taking us on harder rides, by the time we do the actual run it will be a breeze.

“All of us have been touched by cancer in some way. We all know someone affected by it, so it is a cause close to all our hearts.”

Completing the challenge with Jess and Kate will be Alison Armstrong, Alison Holmes, Carol Burrell, Julie Borthwick, Kate Lovett, Kate Willink, Linda Perry, Linden Quinlan, Michaela Watson Moores and Yvette Redmond.

The group has already raised £636 and one of the women’s employers, Aviva, has said it will match their efforts up to £250.

You can support the group at


For information on Breeze Rides see