Father and son set for epic bike ride

FATHER and son bonding usually involves a football match, a day out fishing or a weekend camping, but one duo are planning something a little different - an epic bike ride across India.

Dave Gooderham

FATHER and son bonding usually involves a football match, a day out fishing or a weekend camping, but one duo are planning something a little different - an epic bike ride across India.

Diego Robirosa and his 15-year-old son, Jack, are hoping to raise thousands of pounds from the gruelling journey which will see them cycle more than 80km each day.

Raising money for the Children of Bhopal appeal, the pair will then pay an emotional visit to victims of the Indian chemical disaster which killed thousands living near a factory after they were exposed to deadly gases.

Speaking from their home in Sudbury, Mr Robirosa said he had no fears about his teenage son, who goes to Sudbury Upper School, taking part in the five-day ride.

He said: “Jack is quite sporty and I think physically he will be fine and we are both really looking forward to it. But I am not sure if he knows what he is letting himself in for.

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“It will be quite an experience for him to be cycling such a distance in challenging temperatures and terrain. The fact that my son is coming just gives me even greater motivation. I have always had a close following with the Children of Bhopal appeal and actually seeing the victims will be quite emotional.”

In 1984, the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, central India, killed thousands in a night when the plant began leaking deadly gases. Even now, children are still born with severe birth defects.

The pair will cycle 420 kilometres in five days through Rajasthan and Madyha Pradesh and finish at the Sambhavna Clinic where they will meet children affected by the disaster.

With more than £5,000 needed before setting off in November, Mr Robirosa said they had already raised half that figure through donations and various fund raising events. Money raised will buy twelve weeks of vital medicines to the Sambhavna Clinic or one year's salary for two doctors.

Anyone who would like to sponsor the pair can contact Mr Robirosa on 01787 319170 or www.justgiving.com/cyclebhopal.

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