This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Alice's cycle quest on grandma's bike
A teenager will be cycling thousands of miles on her grandma's homemade bike to raise money for charity.
Alice Hall, 16, from Thurmaston, will be pedalling 5,350 miles in memory of her grandma, Valerie, who loved cycling, with proceeds going to the Leicester Masaya Link Group (LMLG).
The group was created to help relieve poverty in Leicester's twin city Masaya, in Nicaragua.
Alice is planning to cycle the equivalent distance from Leicester to Masaya over the next 12 months.
Alice said: "I wanted to do a challenge that was achievable, but which needed effort as well.
"I have been into cycling for quite a long time – my bike is my main source of transport.
"The bike was hand-built for my grandma about 30 years ago. It is a touring bike and is irreplaceable. I love the bike and named it Valerie in her memory.
"I'm thinking of doing a spring cycle tour around Britain, maybe taking in the Peak District to get some more miles done."
After Alice's grandma Valerie Brewer was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, she moved into the Hall family home. She died in 2010.
Alice said: "My grandma came to live with us when I was five, and, as I was home educated, I helped to look after her.
"It didn't affect me much and I didn't mind doing it.
"She was a friend to everyone and an inspiration to me."
Valerie believed strongly in the work of the link group and educated people in Leicester about life in Masaya.
Members of the Hall family, who are keen cyclists, visited the Central American city in the 1980s.
Alice will kick-start her mileage on a series of rides for the group called Amigos Bike Rides tomorrow.
There are three routes – a six-mile cycle along the Great Central Way starting at 11am, a 25-mile route to Brooksby from 10am-11am, and a 50-mile country lane cycle started between 9am-10am around the city going through Watermead Country Park.
It costs £10 per person to take part, £20 for a family and £30 for a team of five.
"I think it will bring really good awareness of the group," said Alice.
To sign up for the challenge, donate to the charity and for more information, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org