Intrepid Swansea security officers get on their bikes for a fantastic cause

An intrepid trio of security officers have swapped patrolling the Quadrant Shopping Centre in Swansea for pounding the pedals to raise £500 for charity.

The three amigos, Steve Johnson, from Waunarlwydd, Lee Roberts, from Gendros, and Darren Hoare, from Mayhill, only took up cycling about 18 months ago as a handy way of keeping fit and seeing a bit of the beautiful countryside around the city at the same time.

But as they became more proficient pedallers the threesome have been pointing their front wheels in a more serious direction by taking part in organised rides to raise cash for good causes.

Last summer, they entered the famous Gower Bike Ride covering over 100 miles between them in aid of the British Heart Foundation and they again climbed into their saddles to take part in the Pedal for Parkinson’s ride around Llanelli.

Steve, 39, who has been part of the security team at the Quadrant Centre for the past nine years, said: “The two other lads and I started riding our bikes together about 18 months ago.

“At first it was just something to do to keep fit and maybe lose a little weight.

“We got all the right clothing and helmets and we’ve gradually bought some decent bikes.

“We’d go out as often as we could, at weekends and on our days off, and stick to the areas in and around Swansea.

“Then, as we got better at it, we thought it would be good to enter some organised rides and raise some money for charity.

“Last September, we all entered the BHF Gower Ride. I decided to do the 50-mile route and the other two chose the 28-mile route.

“We did pretty well and raised £300-400 between us. I suppose that gave us the taste to have a go at more charity rides.”

Lee, 40, who has been a Quadrant security officer for the past six years, said: “We decided that another good ride to do was the Pedal for Parkinson’s event and we’ve done that one as well as the BHF Ride which was in June this year.

“We all opted to do the 28-miler and it was a great ride, starting and finishing at The Discovery Centre in Llanelli and taking in some spectacular scenery along the way.

“Like the BHF ride, it’s also for a very good cause, which is raising money to pay for specialist nurses to care for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

“We didn’t do any special training for the event because our regular rides have kept us in pretty good shape anyway.

“There were some tough hills to tackle and we did have to get off and push a couple of times but we’re looking to do them again next year and that should take us past the £1,000 for charity.

“We’ve kept up our cycling since and so we should be in good shape for next summer.”

Darren, 34, and a Quadrant security officer for 15 years, said: “We chose the 28-mile route rather than the 55-miler because it’s the first time we have done this particular event and we weren’t all that familiar with the route.

“The three of us started off cycling just to keep fit and we’ve moved on to do these charity rides to give us a fresh challenge and a bit of a change of scene.”

Ian Kirkpatrick, Manager of the Quadrant Centre, said: “They’re a good team here and they’re doing a great job for charity as well.

“It’s great the way they have turned what started out as a hobby into a really worthwhile charity effort.”

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