Users of the YBW forum are planning to cycle 68 miles in one day in order to raise money for the charity

Boaters from the YBW forum are organising a charity

bike ride between two MDL marinas in order to raise money for the British Heart


The 68-mile route will take cyclists from Penton

Hook marina, near Chertsey on the Thames, to Ocean Village

marina in Southampton and is set to take place on 6 June 2015.

Gary Pearson, a frequent user of the forum and

Sealine owner, decided to organise the event after becoming ill with a heart

infection earlier this year.

Mr Pearson said: “I’m fully recovered, but the

experience I received from the cardiologists and people involved in diagnosing

the problem was absolutely phenomenal, hopefully we can raise as much as we

possibly can.

“Those of us of a certain age can become more prone

to heart disease, and while the treatment today is fantastic, there is always

more that can be done, which is why we are supporting this charity.”

This isn’t the first time Mr Pearson has raised

money for charity, having previously cycled from London to Brighton, raising £2,500

for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

He’s hoping next year’s event will be able to raise

double that amount.

“There’s plenty of time to get fit, we’re talking

seven months before the ride and we’ll be undertaking practise training rides

that everybody’s welcome to join in,” he said.

The 68-mile route will be broken up into four

stages, with the opportunity to stop off at three rest stops along the way. 

The riders will then gather at the final stop,

before crossing the finish line together.

He says: “It’s still quite a challenge to do that

sort of distance, but if you stick together in groups; you can talk as you

cycle which should make the event great fun, and boaters banter is always good

for a laugh. It’s a very sociable activity.”

So far, 16 forumites have signed up and others will

be going along for moral support.

Mr Pearson says the willingness to partake has been

great and he’s hoping many more will join them.

MDL Marinas operations and

marketing director Dean Smith, said: “We’re thrilled that the charity bike ride

will be taking place between two MDL marinas. It’s for a great cause and we

wish the riders the best of luck.”

After the ride Mr Pearson plans to organise a ‘Beer

and Natter’ evening, somewhat of a tradition for the YBW forumites, saying: “If

you just want to come out for a quick chinwag then please do.” 

Those wishing to sponsor the event can either donate money or buy a unique T-shirt for around £10

(final cost is to be confirmed), £5 of which will be donated to the British

Heart Foundation.

So whether you’d like to make a donation, get on

your bike or come down to the marinas and honk your horn with the best of them,

Gary urges anyone to come down.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s £1, £5, £10,’ and in

terms of the collection tins, if you’ve got spare coppers in your pocket, put

them in there.”

To get involved, email the organisers via or join the team on their

JustGiving page.