Bianchi girls prepare for epic ride

Fiona Broome and Christina Dove, dubbed the Bianchi girls
Fiona Broome and Christina Dove, dubbed the Bianchi girls

Best friends Fiona Broome and Christina Dove, dubbed the Bianchi girls, are preparing to cycle across Great Britain.

The pair, who are known on the South Downs roads for their turquoise Bianchi bikes and matching turquoise lycra, will set out on Saturday to cycle the 1,050 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats over 15 consecutive days.

Fiona, from Chichester, is an optometrist at the Richard Tildesley Practice and Christina Dove, from Emsworth is an international manager at Mercer in Chichester.

Fiona took a voluntary trip to Uganda in January, where she saw 500 patients in remote communities with no access to eye care. She is contining her support by raising money for Mikwano Children’s Trust Uganda.

Fiona said: “It was a natural choice to want to continue to support Ugandan eye care. Uganda has a population of 36million with less than 100 eye care specialists in the whole country, so the chances of the average person in a rural community being able to access any sort of eye care is unlikely, to say the very least.”

The money she raises will buy much-needed optical equipment for Bwindi Community Hospital, Western Uganda, and support Providence Home in Nkokonjeru, where she stayed in January. This inspirational home provides shelter for children and young adults with many disabilities, plus orphaned and destitute children.

The epic ride was Christina’s idea. She came up with the plan a year ago, soon after she started cycling, as she wanted a challenge.

She is raising money for British Red Cross and Let Yourself Trust, a small charity supporting grassroots projects in different parts of the world.

She said: “Choosing the British Red Cross was an obvious choice for me, since the company I work for has an excellent long-term partnership with them.

“Let Yourself Trust is more of a personal passion and stems from my love of Martyn Joseph’s music. Martyn Joseph is a unique singer songwriter who my husband, Tony, introduced me to over 20 years ago.

“He is concerned with making music that is relevant and vital to his audience, he engages with challenging narratives tackling the complexity of the human condition underpinned with a promise of hope. So when Martyn achieved a lifelong ambition of setting up the Let Yourself Trust in 2014, it was an obvious choice for me to support.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/Fiona-Broome to support Fiona.

Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChristinaDove to support Christina.