FIVE intrepid cyclists will scale mighty Snowdon to raise money for a community sports project.
The teenagers and members of one of the youth groups which meets at Wotton Baptist Church, are raising money to build a skate park in the town.
They will be riding up Wales’ highest mountain on Saturday, March 29 in aid of Wotton Community Sport Foundation (WCSF).
WCFS was set up in 1998 to establish outdoor sports facilities in the town and last year two sports pitches were finished and opened to the public.
Katharine Lady Berkeley School pupils Chris Woodlands, 16, Joel Hamer, 17, and Ben Maudsley, 16, will be joined by James Woodlands, 17, a student at Thornbury’s Castle School, and Jacob Marshall, 15, who studies at Rednock School in Dursley.
It’s new territory for most of them, with only Chris having much mountain biking experience.
The rest of the group are however keen skateboarders or cyclists and all are training hard for their upcoming challenge.
They will be traversing classic mountain biking loop of Snowdon including Bwlch Maesgwm, the Snowdon Ranger Path and the Llanberis Path.
Its 12.5 mile length belies the massive 3600ft of climbing involved – the equivalent of 11 ascents of Adey’s Lane, one of the steepest hills in Wotton.
The ride will be led by Rev Tom Wharin from Wotton Baptist Church, who is also a qualified mountain bike leader.
He said the team were preparing well but would be in for a tough ride.
“They’re doing a great job of the training and the fundraising,” he said. “It will be a real challenge. It’s 1,100 vertical metres, a lot of which involves carrying the bikes.”
With the help of donors in the community, the boys have so far raised over £1,200 in sponsorship pledges.
WCSF chairman Barnaby Beere said he was delighted with the team's fundraising efforts.
He added: "We are just over halfway in our fundraising for the skate park which will cost somewhere in the region of £80,000 and the sponsorship money will be a most welcome boost."
Anyone wishing to sponsor the team can do so at the Wotton Coffee Shop, the Wotton One Stop Shop, Wotton DIY, Wotton Youth Club or Wotton Baptist Church.
Regular updates on the ride are being posted on the Snowdon Mountain Bike Challenge Facebook page.