THIRTEEN-year-old cousins completed a 147-mile coast to coast cycle ride in just five days raising more than £1,000.
The marathon ride was completed by Robbie Barton, from Helmshore, and his cousin Oli Smith, from Glossop, Derbyshire.
For Robbie, from Haslingden High School, the achievement came just two years after a serious bike crash in France which saw him go over the handlebars, break his arm and smash four adult teeth.
His mum Sarah said: “He would not get back on a bike, but last year we persuaded him to give it a go. His original bike was too small so we bought him a new one and he had respect for the bike.”
Robbie is a member of Rossendale Valley Juniors U13s Tigers football team and joined in the team challenge to run 300 miles in 30 days for Rossendale Hospice – the team raised £2,000.
Then the coach suggested a virtual cycle from John O-Groats to Land’s End and Robbie did 100 of the miles; the team managed to log enough miles to cycle back from Cornwall to Rossendale.
Sarah said: “That was when Robbie said he wanted to do that journey himself for charity.”
After negotiation, it was agreed to switch to a coast-to-coast, Whitehaven in Cumbria to Sunderland in Tyneside as the family has links on both coasts.
Sarah and younger son Tommy, seven, were back-up in a motorhome and the teenagers navigated a pre-arranged route by map and GPX, a bike ‘sat nav’ app.
Day one finished in Lorton and Oli’s dad Andrew joined them on the second day when they tackled cycle routes on Whinlatter Fell ending the day at Keswick.
Day three saw them cycle through to Langwathby and on day four the weather was atrocious.
Sarah said: “It was touch and go if they should ride that day but they wanted to carry on. It was scary as they were on a very busy road climbing up Hartside Pass and when they got to me, they were soaking wet.
“The climb was so steep, and Robbie was physically sick. As a parent you are thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ I followed them up the hill and they never stopped cycling; one of Robbie’s rules was he was not going to walk the bike up a hill.”
On the final day Robbie took a tumble, but Oli patched up his grazes and when Sarah and Tommy rode to meet them both were determined to finish.
Sarah said: “Robbie’s Great-Grandad Bobby Gurney played for Sunderland and they wanted to ride past the stadium. My godson Nick Clift, 18, agreed to meet at Chester-le-Street and he rode with them through to the finish to dip their wheels in the North Sea.
“I am very proud of what they have achieved.”
The money raised will benefit the Charlie and Carter Foundation, based in South Shields, founded by Sarah and Christopher Cookson who sadly lost both their sons at a young age.