COAST-to-coast cyclist Christian Townsley is celebrating after completing his gruelling 140-mile ride - and raising more than £3,000 for charity.

The 43-year-old father-of-three from Skipton, who is co-owner of the Leeds-based North Brewing Company, completed the ride from St Bee’s in Cumbria to Sunderland, his home town, with a little help from his friends - fellow cyclists Guy Towlson, Greg Crouch and Mick Walker, who rode with him for sections of the route. He was also supported by wife Helen and and their three sons, Gil, eight, Gabe, six, and Wynn, three.

Christian has been raising cash for St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds as part of a drive by staff at the city’s North Bar, who have so far raised more than £15,000.

Although a keen cyclist, Christian said he had been apprehensive before the start as he had never ridden more than 100 miles before, and he had been struggling with an injury.

He said: “The weather on the day was perfect, warm, dry and bright, with a light tailwind. Whinlatter Pass in the Lakes was our first test before a long drag up to Penrith.

“Like a fool I kind of assumed the route was more or less down hill once I’d traversed Hartside Pass, the highest point on the route - it was anything but!

“I completed the 140-mile route and over 10,000ft in climbing in a little over 12 hours.

“We rolled down to the beach at Roker in Sunderland around 8pm to be greeted by my family and friends and a couple of North Brewing beers!

“There was a a quick visit to the chippy on the seafront for fish and chips before Helen drove myself and our boys home to Skipton.”

Christian added that he was very grateful for the support of his friends - and to Herald readers. “I definitely saw a boost to my sponsorship thanks to generous readers of the Craven Herald. “It meant a lot in terms of motivation, especially in the week running up when injury really rocked my confidence!”

It costs around £25,000 a day to run St Gemma’s.

Donations can still be made on Christian’s page at: