Cycle team to raise awareness of deadly illness

A group of enthusiastic fundraisers will be cycling more than 1,000 miles next month to raise awareness of sudden adult death syndrome.

Nick Branch and work colleague Alex Barrett, of Oldfield Park, will be making up the mileage over 12 days as they cycle from Sicily to Milan.

The pair, who work at property firm Quidos in Argyle Street, will be joined by two of their friends and a support crew who will follow them in a van.

The group of friends, nicknamed Team Buzz, decided to embark on the challenge after experiencing the effects of the disorder, which can cause cardiac arrest in previously healthy people.

One of the riders is 26-year-old Amanda Patterson, whose brother died suddenly as a result of an unknown heart condition which made her and others more determined to raise money for research into and awareness of the illness.

It will see them cycling around 85 miles a day along the west coast of Italy through Naples, Rome and Pisa to raise money for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY.)

The journey will also see them ascend 59,000 feet, which will be the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest twice.

Mr Branch, aged 27, who is a director of the firm, said the group had cycled nearly 700 miles from Cherbourg to Montpellier last year and were keen to do something similar.

He said: "It was absolutely incredible and we met lots of people.

"None of us are particularly massive cyclists and it is not something we do.

"So we decided to do it – but we all had to go out and buy bikes for this."

Mr Branch said they had started training in April and had been cycling to various places in the South West including the Chew Valley, Weymouth and Shaftesbury.

Mr Branch said: "The last time was amazing and we wanted to do something similar.

"It is important to raise awareness of the charity and the illness.

"CRY estimates that 12 people a week die in the UK from sudden death syndrome and often people are not aware of it."

The team, which will set off in the second week of September, has raised more than £1,500 but hopes to raise more than £5,000 from the ride.

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