A FATHER and son team who have raised almost £500 for charity were almost unable to complete their 100-mile cycle challenge due to a break-in mere nights before the event.
Local vet Dilwyn Evans and his son Gwilym were all geared up to go to Prudential Ride London 100 until they discovered that their garden sheds had been burgled and their bikes stolen. They instantly phoned the police and were worried that they might not even be able to take on their challenge.
Ride London 100 follows the route of the Olympic road race that Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish rode and sees thousands of people taking part every year.
"We only discovered the break-in on Saturday afternoon when we were packing to go to London to stay overnight," said Dilwyn, who works at the Bridge Veterinary Clinic in Fairford, Lechlade and Highworth. "Both sheds had been prised open with a crowbar."
As well as three bikes, a chainsaw, a hedge trimmer and a leaf blower were also stolen. Although distressed at the burglary, the father and son team quickly borrowed a couple of bikes and still ended up completing the ride the next day.
"The conditions were atrocious," added Dilwyn, who cycled the route on Sunday with his son while Hurricane Bertha swept through along the course.
"Parts of the course were deemed unsafe it and it shortened to 86 miles."
Gwilym, 19, managed to complete the course in just under five hours while his father finished at six hours and 20 minutes.
"It was an incredible couple of days and in parts surreal," said Dilwyn. "We would like to thank all who have sponsored us for Send a Cow."
The Evans team have so far raised £415 for Send a Cow, a charity that supplies farmers in Africa with the stock and knowledge so they can feed their families. Visit virginmoneygiving.com/DilwynEvans to donate to their cause.