Blind fundraiser Barbara Russell set to join in bears on bikes world record attempt during Bournemouth Wheels Festival

Bournemouth Echo: FESTIVAL: Blind cyclist Barbara Russell and her fellow tandem team member Rob Trobridge FESTIVAL: Blind cyclist Barbara Russell and her fellow tandem team member Rob Trobridge

AN INTREPID blind fundraiser will be taking to a tandem during the Bournemouth Wheels Festival to help raise cash for a good cause.

Barbara Russell, 58, from Southbourne, is a volunteer receptionist at, and member of, Bournemouth Society for the Visually Impaired in Moordown.

The society was given bikes by the Steve Bernard Foundation and now offers them for anyone who wants to use them.

When Barbara heard about the Wheels Festival, which takes place in Bournemouth from May 24 to 26, she wanted to get involved and will now be joining riders as they attempt to set a world record for getting as many teddy bears on bikes as possible.

The Bears on Bikes event is raising cash for the Round Table Children’s Wish charity.

Barbara will ride tandem with Rob Trowbridge, who is the Round Table’s community service liaison officer.

She said: “The bonus of course is to help a charity as well; I get to join in and highlight the charity.

“I’ve been on a couple of cycles and last year I took part in the London to Surrey 100-mile ride.”

Organisers of the ride are hoping that thousands of people will take part as bears, or have bears on their bikes, for the record attempt on the Monday of the festival, between 6pm and 7pm.

Charlotte Otter, from the charity, said: “We are hoping to set a new record and want to encourage as many people as possible to be a part of it. We chose bears because they will be a constant reminder of the children we are trying to help. We’re honoured to be the nominated charity.”

Places are still available for the ride and at the Round Table’s Night at the Grand Prix charity event at Bournemouth Pavilion on Saturday, May 24. Visit roundtable.co.uk/bourn emouthwheels for details on both.

Tandems are available from BSVI by calling 01202 546644.

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