A PENSIONER completed a 196-mile bike ride through the Lake District with his cycling club to support a charity.

John Heckingbottom, 71, of Griffin Cycling Club, embarked on the mammoth journey back in July, which saw the team climb over the mountainous terrain of the Lake District.

It was to support the charity, Shine, which provides specialist support from before birth and throughout the life of anyone living with spina bifida or hydrocephalus.

John’s great-nephew Jacob Senior suffers from spina bifida – Jacob is now 16 and has just started at Barnsley College.

This Tuesday in a presentation at Barnsley Rugby Club, on Shaw Lane, the team presented Shine with the £3,229.90 they’d earned from their ride.

John took part in the entire cycle and despite his age conquered the difficult trek.

He added: “It was the hardest three days’ riding of my life.

“The weather was atrocious – if I was a religious man I would’ve been saying prayers.

“But we gritted our teeth and got through it.

“Things like this make you a better person – you go to places you think you couldn’t go and do things you think you couldn’t do.”

The team powered through, making it home safely and knowing they’d helped people in need.

Another member of the club, John Lamb, said: “We do charity cycles every year and have team members recommend which charity we should support.

“We did Shine this year for one of our members, whose family needed support from the charity.

“It was really good, but it is the Lakes so it’s hilly.

“On the last day we had the worst weather I’d ever cycled in – it could’ve actually been pretty dangerous.

“We were exposed at the top of a hill facing 20mph head wind – if something had happened we wouldn’t have been able to contact anyone for help.”