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Tandem couple in charity bike ride

By This is Devon  |  Posted: August 31, 2010

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TEIGNMOUTH husband and wife, Mike and Linda Slade, are getting on a bike made for two and will ride from Honiton to their home town.

Retired policeman Mike, 56, will ride up-front on their tandem with his visually impaired wife, Linda, also 56, in a pro-ride ahead of the Tour of Britain stage finish in Teignmouth.

The keen cyclists want to raise the profile of a charity while indulging in one of their favourite past times.

They will be riding the 70km Challenge Ride, which forms part of the Prostate Cancer Charity's South West Tour Ride.

The ride takes place on Sunday, September 5, ahead of the Tour of Britain's stage four finish in Teignmouth on Tuesday, September 14.

In the Tour Ride, cyclists can tackle three routes across the South West: a 175km from Minehead to Teignmouth, a 70km route from Honiton to Teignmouth, or a gentle family-friendly 2km around the seaside town.

The couple, who have been married for 34 years and have two children Matt, 31 and Tim, 30, have cycled on their tandem bike together for over a decade and are part of the Teign Valley Pedal Bashers cycle club.

They have been helping to promote the Tour Rides by cycling around the area, distributing leaflets and flags to passers by.

Both are particularly keen to get people involved in the family ride which will also see some entertainment laid on at The Den.

Mike said: "After cycling with Linda for 13 years we have managed to synchronise perfectly with each other and I can tell if she is struggling.

"Riding a tandem is much more difficult than a normal bike, especially when it comes to hills. But the extra weight helps us build up speed downhill, which gives us the chance to catch up with the other cyclists.

"We are proud to be supporting The Prostate Cancer Charity, as we feel that men don't talk about prostate cancer as much as they should."

Linda developed Macular Disease when she was 15 years old, which has resulted in her being visually impaired for the majority of her life.

She now volunteers at the Macular Disease Society.

She said: "I have always loved cycling and I have refused to let my sight stop me from getting on my bike.

"Riding tandem with Mike is really good fun and is something that we can still do together.

"It is a very different way of cycling as you have to work as a team.

"It is great news that the Tour of Britain is coming to Teignmouth and the Prostate Cancer Charity is giving bike enthusiasts the opportunity to ride the same route as the professional cyclists.

"I am sure that the people of Teignmouth will come out in force to show that the Tour of Britain made the right choice with our town."

The Prostate Cancer Charity's head of community fundraising, Claire Walsh, said: "Mike and Linda are an inspirational couple who have shown that nothing can stop them from enjoying their favourite sport.

"We are delighted that they will be joining us for the South West Tour Ride and we are looking forward to seeing them in action on their tandem."

To sign up to take part in The Prostate Cancer Charity's South West Tour Ride, visit www.tourride.co.uk.

It costs £40 for the full stage distance, £30 for the 70km distance and £25 for a family of four to do the 2km family ride.

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