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Essex cyclist completes 1,000-mile charity challenge

12 Dec Essex cyclist completes 1,000-mile charity challenge

An online retail manager from Essex has become the first person to complete a charity’s 1,000-mile cycling challenge, reaching the target in less than a month.

Gina Cleere, from Basildon, was inspired to take part in Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Cycling Down Dementia challenge because her father, Michael Elliott, has dementia. Michael, 77, was diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies seven years ago and is now in a care home.

The initiative, which launched at the beginning of November, challenges cyclists to ride either 300 or 1,000 miles before the end of January and raise £150 for pioneering dementia research.

However, Gina, who is one of the top female long-distance cyclists in the country, reached 1,000 miles before the end of November and has set a new target of 3,000 miles.

The Essex Roads Cycling Club member has been riding around 300 miles a week, although this is 100 miles less than her usual weekly training distance – around 30 hours of cycling – as she is recovering from deep vein thrombosis in her calf.

The 36-year-old said: “Cycling Down Dementia is a fabulous challenge. It combines something I love, cycling long distances, with a cause that’s very close to me as my dad has dementia.

Dementia is terrible because it robs you slowly every day.”
Gina has so far raised £530. To sponsor her go to