Hull cyclists gear up for 290-mile fundraiser

A pair of cyclists have set themselves a 290-mile fundraising challenge in support of homelessness charity Emmaus Hull & East Riding.

Chris Straker, aged 65 and from Hull, and Kevin Rennison, aged 64 and from Hessle, are currently training in readiness for a demanding bike ride from Wick to Pitlochry in Scotland. The pair are fundraising for Emmaus Hull & East Riding, a charity that provides a home, work and individual support to people who have experienced homelessness.

Chris said: “We are having to carry all our needs for the journey in our panniers, and we will be staying in B&Bs or small hotels each night. There will be some long, lonely stretches and some challenging hills and gradients. We will be well and truly out of our comfort zone!”

Chris and Kevin are aiming to start the charity ride on Wednesday 17 May and finish on Sunday 21 May. They predict the journey will be about 290 miles, dependent on road conditions and any unexpected factors and diversions.

Kevin added: “We are both expecting the ride to be very challenging, especially at our ripe old ages but we feel it is a small commitment to support the work of a charity that is there for those that especially need support. It is a turbulent time for charities, and we hope that any funds we raise will contribute to the amazing work that Emmaus does every day of the year.”

Formerly homeless people supported by Emmaus, known as companions, live within a purpose-built community home in Hull and are offered the opportunity to gain skills, confidence and new experiences. Emmaus Hull & East Riding also delivers an outreach service, providing direct support to people who are street homeless.

Kelly Finnis, Director of Emmaus Hull & East Riding, said: “As a local charity, we are heavily dependent on the kindness and support of people in our area to fund the support we offer to our companions and people on the streets.

“This fundraiser is a great example of friends doing something inspiring whilst raising funds for a good cause. Everyone at Emmaus Hull & East Riding is very grateful to Chris and Kevin and we send our best wishes to them both for their training rides and the main challenge in May.”

Chris and Kevin are appealing for donations from family, friends, members of the public and local businesses. VIC Couplands and Restorative Thinking have already pledged their support and sponsored the fundraiser.

To find out more and support Chris and Kevin’s fundraiser for Emmaus Hull & East Riding, please visit