A PLUCKY schoolgirl is devoting her summer holidays to an epic charity cycle ride.

Ella Parker, of Great Urswick, hopes to pedal 147.5 miles – the same distance as the longest stage of the Tour de France – on the bike she was given for her sev-enth birthday.

Accompanied by mum Gina, dad Mike and 20-month-old brother Zac, the Low Furness C of E School youngster has already raised more than £900 for Alice’s Escapes, the family hol-iday charity founded by Ulverston teen Alice Pyne, who won world-wide recognition for her ‘bucket list’ before losing her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year.


In a hand-written letter, Ella sets out her reasons for the ride as ‘to help people, to be kind, I’ll get fit’, adding: “I think this challenge is going to be really hard and I’m a bit scared.”

Her mum told the Gazette: “We’ve been doing a lot of family cycling and Ella does like a challenge, so we thought about doing a ride over the summer, raising money for charity. We asked her to choose and she chose Alice’s Escapes.”

The family braved tor-rential rain, midge bites and a 450-feet climb as they pedalled from Dalegarth to Raven-glass on day one of the adventure, on Saturday.

Next day they completed an easier 11 miles from Newbiggin, near Waberthwaite, to Bootle; and the rest of their route will take them through Devon and Wales, before a grand finale at their local, The General Bur-goyne, Great Urswick.

Gina thanked sup-porters including BAE Systems, where dad Mike works.

* To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Ella-Zac-Parker/