Harriet cycles 170 miles for Ryley
A Deepings teenager has gone the extra mile for a family friend fighting a rare illness by raising £900 through a charity bike ride.
In fact, Harriet Spriggs, 15, gave up the first weekend of her summer holidays to cycle 170 miles across England over three days to support Baston teenager and former county champion athlete Ryley Briston, also 15.
Harriet, a Year 11 pupil at The Deepings School, was one of six cyclists who completed The Way of the Roses from Morecambe to Bridlington over three days in July.
The money raised will go towards #Root4Ryley, a charity set up to pay for Ryley’s treatment and adaptations to his home after he was diagnosed with the brain condition arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in June 2016.
Harriet, of Deeping St James, said: “My mum had previously done the London to Paris ride with her cycling group, Deepings Cycling Buddies. So I got her old road bike and started riding 30 to 60 miles a week, on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings, so I could be bedded into long-distance rides.
“I loved it so much that Mum and I started talking about doing a coast-to-coast ride called The Way of the Roses over the summer as there were quite a few in the group who wanted to do it.”
Harriet and Ryley, a former Bourne Grammar School pupil, grew up together at the same playgroup.
“The morning after Ryley fell ill, Mum sat me and my little sister down on her bed and told us what had happened to him before taking us to our dance class,” Harriet said.
“It was such a big thing, but I didn’t know what to think until as Ryley and I grew up side by side.
“Since he came out of hospital, I’ve visited Ryley after school a few times and his parents haven’t stopped saying thank you because they’ve had so much support from people.”
During The Way of the Roses cycle ride, Harriet had the experience of riding past Lancaster Castle, Ripon Cathedral, the National Railway Museum in York, York Minster Cathedral and through the Yorkshire Dales.
Harriet said: “The ride was amazing because it was the first challenge of its kind that I’d ever done on my bike.
“Before, I’d just been training on my bike, which made riding from Morecambe to Bridlington tough.
“But having everybody in our group supporting each other was great and the sense of achievement at the end of the 170 miles and three days, when I was able to tell myself ‘I’ve done it’, was really nice.”