ON HER BIKE: Rachel Moore is planning to cycle 275km along the Portuguese coast for charity  										             TM pic
ON HER BIKE: Rachel Moore is planning to cycle 275km along the Portuguese coast for charity TM pic

A BARNARD Castle businesswoman aims to cycle 275km along a Portuguese pilgrimage route for charity despite not riding a bicycle since childhood.

Rachel Moore and her sister, Sarah Morgan, plan to cycle from Porto to Santiago as part of the Santiago de Compostela in June to raise cash for Northumbrian Blood Bikes.

The challenge came about when the pair decided during a girls’ trip abroad last year to do “something healthy” in 2020.

Mrs Moore had just turned 50 at the time.

They decided to take up cycling because all the cyclists they met on the continent were so friendly.

Mrs Moore said: “The last time I was on a bicycle was in my teens when we all used to go biking, but nothing since really.”

The idea of doing a Santiago de Compostela route came to them last October.

In the next few weeks,

they bought all the gear they needed and began training.

However, they were disappointed when the charity cancelled the event in January because too few people had signed up.

Mrs Moore said: “We thought we have got our gear now, let’s carry on and do this.” They arranged with a private events company to provide support for their epic journey and instead of completing the event in three days, extended it to finish in five.

The mum of one said: “It is not a race – we are doing this because we wanted to do something challenging and a bit different.”

They have roped in help from professional cyclist Sue Lindsey, from Winston, who on their first outing had to tell them how to put their helmets on correctly.

Mrs Moore said: “She has only been out with us once so far but she has given us loads of help, like which gear you should be in because we

didn’t know.

“When we didn’t have our helmets on properly, we felt really silly.”

The sisters have trained together every weekend, except one when the weather was too severe, and have completed a 40-mile round trip from Scotch Corner to Reeth.

The sisters decided to support Northumbria Blood Bikes during their challenge because “whatever illness you have, you can’t do without blood”.

The charity will be following their progress during the challenge, which starts on June 23 in Porto, via the Strata cycling app and will be posting updates.

The sisters aim to raise £1,000 and anyone who wants to support them can visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/