Halfords helps Connor overcome bike theft before charity challenge

Connor Evans is cycling 125 miles from his home in Ashington to Eyemouth and back in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Connor Evans is cycling 125 miles from his home in Ashington to Eyemouth and back in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

A teenager from Ashington has overcome a number of setbacks in preparation for a 125-mile bike ride for charity.

When Connor Evans set himself the task of fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust by undertaking the cycle ride along the Northumberland coastline, he thought the challenge would be the ride itself.

However, since commencing his training, Connor has suffered a series of setbacks.

First he had a badly sprained ankle followed by a bout of flu. Then just as he was getting back into his training regime after the illness, his bike was stolen.

As well as being necessary to complete the challenge, the bike was also Connor’s only means of transport to and from college.

Eighteen-year-old Connor, who is an IT student at Northumberland College, is determined to complete his challenge for a personal reason – his girlfriend’s young nephew, Robbie Bell, has cystic fibrosis.

However, he was unsure how to overcome this latest obstacle to his fundraising ambitions, until the Cystic Fibrosis Trust stepped in.

A representative from the trust contacted Halfords in Cramlington, where deputy manager David Purvis immediately agreed to lend Connor a bike so that he could complete his training.

But when Connor went to collect the bike, David made the decision to make the loan permanent.

David said: “I just felt so sorry for him. He had trained so hard for the charity challenge and also relied on the bike for his regular transport.

“I decided to gift the bike to Connor and also a lock to ensure that this one stayed safe.”

Connor now plans to go ahead with the challenge, cycling from his home town Ashington to Eyemouth in Scotland and then back again on Sunday, April 12.

Connor said: “Thank you to David from Halfords in Cramlington for replacing my stolen bike with a brand new bike free of charge.

“His generosity and kind actions have allowed me to go forward with the date set for my event, helping not just me but the Cystic Fibrosis Trust too.

“I can’t express how grateful I am.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor Connor can do so at www.justgiving.com/evanscycling/ or by texting ECYC92 to 70070.

Linda Alexander, community development and fundraising manager for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said “After hearing the sad news that Connor had had his bicycle stolen we are delighted to hear that Halfords have very kindly agreed to gift Connor a bicycle to help him complete his cycle to raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

“We would like to say a big thank you to Halfords for this very kind gesture.”