Father gets on his bike

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THe SUPERIOR of a monastery will put his faith in an adapted bicycle when he embarks on a 105-mile fundraising ride.

Armed with his trusty tool kit and a supply of spare spokes, Father George Guiver will cycle from Northumberland back to the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield.

Fr George said: “I will be using a 1980s Bickerton folding bicycle which I have adapted. The handlebars have been replaced by a single steering-column from a child’s scooter, with a hinge from a motor-scooter abandoned on Stocksbank Road near our gate.

“The rear fork is made of steel taken from an ancient pushbike after the alloy originals collapsed under me in the middle of Northumberland.”

Despite the bike’s quirks, Fr George looks forward to setting off on his three-day journey later today.

“The bike is a delight to ride and gets you there at a rate not far different from that of a normal bike,” he said. “The highest speed so far recorded shooting down a hill is 34.5 mph which, surprisingly, is terrifying on a bicycle!”

Fr George has chosen to start his journey in Monkwearmouth, near Sunderland, because it was home to seventh century monk the Venerable Bead.

He said: “At Mirfield, the brethren have engaged in a huge project to renovate the church at a cost of £2m. This will make it much more open to Christians who wish to join us in prayer, learn more about God or take part in the many events held on the Mirfield site.”

Money raised by Fr George’s ride will support the church renovation.

Visit www.justgiving.com/FrGeorge to donate.