CYCLISTS around the world are gearing up to get in the saddle this weekend as part of a fundraiser marking what should have been the 30th birthday of Appleton woman Candice Roberts.
The musical theatre graduate died on her 26th birthday in August 2010 after being diagnosed with rare nervous system condition Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Her friends have said they are determined to celebrate Candice’s 30th on August 23 the way their festival-loving friend would have done and are encouraging all participants in a charity 30-hour cycle ride to don ladybird wellies or glittery shoes in tribute to her.
El Jones, who set up the charity ‘C&D where the music takes you’ in memory of her friends Candice and David Wright, who died aged 28, hopes the Candy Cycle will raise enough cash to support children in Madagascar after discovering it was the seventh poorest country in the world.
The 34-year-old from Bruche said: “They both loved life and music and had so much potential ahead of them which is why I set the charity up to ensure they were never forgotten.
“The charity supports children and young adults via music workshops at home as well as travelling to underprivileged countries.
“Fundraising runs for an eight-month period starting in the month of Candice's birthday and completing in the month of David's birthday in April.”
The Candy Cycle marks the start of fundraising with participants sponsored to cycle for 30 hours throughout August with friends currently taking part in South Africa, Chicago and Pennsylvania in the USA, Perth in Australia and Shanghai in China.
El added: “I met a lot of friends from around the world during a cycling challenge in South Africa last year and it’s amazing now the event has gone global.
“My friend in Cape Town is head of the police and has got all the police officers taking part.
“Losing Candice hit everyone hard and we all wanted her to be remembered and wanted to do her proud on what should have been her 30th birthday.”
AN exercise bike will be available at three locations this weekend for anyone who wants to support the event.
Tomorrow, Friday, from 8am to 6pm, the MacIntyre Café have kindly donated the use of their exercise bike for staff and the public to use at the Gateway, Sankey Street.
An exercise bike will also be at The Wine Bar, London Road, Stockton Heath on Saturday from 9am to 7pm and from 12 to 2am and on Sunday from 8am to 4pm at the MELA at Queens Gardens in the town centre.
Search for Candy Cycle on Facebook, use #candycycle on Instagram or visit eleanorjone0.wix.com/wherethemusictakesu.