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Sue spins for arthritis charity

two teams of spin cyclists took to their bikes on Saturday 11th April to raise funds for Arthritis Research UK and to raise awareness of the disease, which affects people of all ages.

The Spin Challenge was organised by Sue Watts, who will be cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats in September this year to raise funds for the charity, and was kindly supported by Jennie Antell of Ecofitness, based in Chantry.

During the Spin Challenge, Sue cycled for over eight hours and managed to clock up 183 miles. Meanwhile, a relay team of fellow spin cyclists and keep fit enthusiasts managed to achieve 188 miles. An amazing £239.01 was raised during the course of the day.

Sue said, “The event was great. It was lovely to have the support of my friends, who gave up their Saturday to help me. Talking to them was a welcome distraction from my aching legs!

“The generosity and interest of people in Frome was also wonderful and much appreciated. Many of those who stopped to chat said that they were affected by arthritis or knew of someone with the disease.”

Sue herself was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both hips at the age of 47. Despite hip preservation surgery in 2012, she will still need a hip replacement in two years’ time. At the time of her diagnosis, she was a keen runner and training to run the London Marathon.   She was forced to give up running and her surgeon advised her to take up cycling instead.

“Which is precisely what I did!’ said Sue. “‘I bought a new road bike, and was soon hooked. On my 50th birthday, I decided I’d like to raise money for Arthritis Research UK by cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats.

“The charity is doing brilliant stuff in terms of working on tissue engineering, creating longer laster hip replacements and revolutionary therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. I have to admit that, up to that point, I’d thought of arthritis as being as something you got when you were older. I had no idea it could even affect children as young as six months. I also found out just how painful arthritis can be.”

During her cycling adventure in September, Sue will cover 979 miles in 12 days, supported by Discover Adventure and a team of fellow cyclists raising money for a host of charities.

In the meantime, alongside her training, she aims to raise more money for Arthritis Research UK and raise awareness of the disease. If you’d like to help Sue in her fundraising venture, donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/Sue-Watts2