A COUPLE have raised thousands of pounds for charity after taking on a gruelling cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Heybridge couple James and Helen DeGiorgio contributed to £7,000 in cash raised for the charity Bloodwise after cycling the 980-mile route across the length of England and Scotland.

The eight-day challenge came just weeks after James completed a 300-mile trip with ten-year-old daughter Emma from Paris to London.

The husband and wife team took on the challenge alongside 800 riders.

Throughout the ride, the weather caused significant problems for the cyclists.

On the eighth day of the challenge, many others pulled out of various stages due to “gale force winds” and “driving rain”.

James said: “We battled through, even though it was dangerous, and we were both mentally and physically shattered.

“We got to base camp that night with just 15 minutes to spare.”

Each stage of the challenge had time limits which the cyclists had to ensure they hit with time to be able to continue.

During the ride, the couple found time to appreciate the coastline of Cornwall and the hills and valleys of the north, as well as passing a number of historic sites.

“At each pit stop, I’d check to see how fundraising was going, and without fail every day money sponsors poured in,” James said.

“The comments from friends and family on social media genuinely kept us going. I don’t think we’d have managed to carry on without the tremendous support.

“During the ride we both had many dark moments when we questioned why on earth we were putting ourselves through this ordeal, but each time we managed to battle through and the sense of pride each day when we finished was unbelievable.

“To have cycled 980 miles in just nine days is something I don’t think we genuinely believed was in us before we started the event.

“The organisers, Threshold Sports, have a saying – ‘more is in you’.

“Every time we felt like giving up, we also remembered that more was in us.”

The DeGiorgio family’s fundraiser is still accepting donations.

To support it, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/degiorgio-lejog.