NORTHAMPTON'S Sky Bet League Two clash with York City turned into an easy ride for the home team.

For the 12 visiting fans who cycled to the match in three days, however, it was anything but.

Ian Jones, Dan Waterworth, Ben Nicholson, Adam Livingston, Tom Poole, Joe Fletcher, Craig Atkin, Oli Stone, Robert Corker, Ash Taylor, Nathan Brigham and James Patterson all completed the 170-mile journey to Sixfields after embarking on the odyssey in memory of Cobblers fan David Henderson.

All but one of the party witnessed Henderson lose his life outside Northampton's ground at the previous season's corresponding fixture between the clubs and, as a consequence, decided to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

The dozen's initial fund-raising target of £5,000 has been smashed with donations still flooding in and closing in on the £7,000 mark.

Event organiser Jones - a furniture designer - is delighted with the response even if the ride has left him requiring a hospital visit.

"I've been suffering from loose cartilage in both knees for a while now and they swelled up quite badly so I think I might need an operation," he explained. "My doctor told me that cycling should do the cartilage some good but I'm not sure 170 miles in three days did!

"I was back to work on Monday but, luckily, there are guys who make what I draw, so I didn't have to leave the desk much."

Considering the dozen's general lack of cycling experience, Jones also suffered the first of a surprisingly small number of mishaps during the journey.

"I fell off first, on the York-to-Selby cycle track," he winced. "I could almost see my house!

"It was a good dismount. I did a forward roll and landed in a bush.

"But there were only five falls and four punctures in the whole group and my knees were probably the worst injury."

Jones added, meanwhile, that the City enthusiasts were relieved to survive an arduous second-day slog from Gainsborough to Market Harborough and grateful the elements were kind to them.

He said: "Michael Ingham wished us good luck on Thursday morning and Russ Wilcox congratulated us on a good idea and cause before we set off at 9am from Bootham Crescent. We were pretty much racing the sun on that day because we didn't all have lights.

"We had delays because Tom Poole got a puncture and we stopped a little longer than we should have done for lunch but we made it to the hotel for about 5.30pm. We then did 72-and-a-half miles on the second day, leaving at 8.30am and getting to the hotel for 5pm.

"That was the most difficult leg because we had to do 100 individual climbs adding up to 1800 feet. We were shattered but elated because we knew we only had 40 miles to go and the end was in sight whereas, on the first day, we had put all that effort in and didn't really seem much nearer to Northampton.

"In terms of the weather, it rained from just outside York to Snaith on the Thursday but it then turned into quite a nice day and the sun came out when we reached the River Trent, which was nice. We also got really good weather on Friday and Saturday."

Prior to kick-off , the cyclists were afforded a rousing ovation during a lap of the Sixfields pitch with Jones admitting: "The reaction at Northampton was first-class and it was really good to see some supporters waiting for us when we arrived at the stadium.

"The reception we then got in the supporters' bar and on the pitch was fantastic and a bit surreal. Every time I've been on a football pitch in the past, I shouldn't have been, but the noise when we went past the Main Stand was tremendous."

Jones also took part in the half-time entertainment as he and two other members of the party tried to kick a ball into the boot of a car and win another £250 for the charity kitty but it wasn't to be.

"My knees and the other lads' tired legs meant we got nowhere near the target," he said. "I did run off though and put the ball in the net in front of the away end, which was better than the team managed on the day.

"I think we should add that to the goal difference because we might need it at the end of the season!"

The riders, meanwhile, were warmly greeted by grateful members of David Henderson's family too.

"They told us they were proud and happy that we had made it and thanked us for our efforts," Jones revealed. "They also said that they hope we can meet up again in the future, which we will do once we have got a final total to hand over."

A collection in the region of £200 was contributed to the fund by City's first-team squad and the group intend to now auction off a 2014 FA Cup final programme, signed by Hull City defender Curtis Davies.

The online just giving page will stay open for another ten days and donations can still be made by visiting Undeterred by their exertions, the cyclists are also already planning future charity escapades.

"As soon as we got to Northampton, we talked about doing something next year," Jones revealed. "There were a few raised eyebrows and eyes rolling around in heads, but everybody's up for it.

"I've got a few more ideas, other than a bike ride, too and we would welcome other York City fans getting involved."