Three Lancashire men have hit the headlines in America after being spotted riding their bicycles during an epic ride.
Frank Towers, of Freckleton, Mick Howarth, of Ashton, and Phil Barlow Alcock, of Cottam, have caused quite a stir as they have been cycling 2,000 miles from Denver, Colorado, to Hamilton, Ontario, in Canada.
They were interviewed by local media there and have featured in Osmond Republic, in Nebraska, and The Star News Medford, Iowa.
Frank, a father-of-two, initiated the challenge to mark his 65th birthday and along with his friends, they decided to raise money for the Rookwood A ward (dementia and stroke wing) at Chorley Hospital, where Mick volunteers.
Mick told the Osmond Republic that two years ago he had a heart bypass and when he was at Chorley Hospital, he felt sad when some patients didn’t have visitors, so he became a volunteer.
Along the way the trio have met some new friends, and reconnected with old ones. Frank reunited with Karla and Jim Rice, who he had met in 2011 when he did a bike ride from New York to Los Angeles to raise money for the Freckleton Project and Phil met some distant relatives for the first time.
Frank’s wife, Bridget, has been keeping up to date with their travels through their blog on YouTube.
She said: “Frank wanted to do a bike ride for his birthday and Phil, 49, and Mick, 64, decided to join him. As Mick volunteers at Chorley Hospital’s dementia and stroke ward they wanted to raise money for there.
“They flew to Denver last month and began their challenge. They are like celebrities over there as you don’t often see three Englishmen riding on a bike in America. They have met some really nice people out there and have been in two newspapers.
“It is great as all they want to do is raise awareness and raise money.
“Their initial target was £500, but they have gone over that now, so they are trying to get to £1,000.
“Their ride is going well. The only trouble they have had is the headwind in their faces. But they are having a laugh and riding 70 to 100 miles a day.
“They began the challenge on August 8 and aim to finish September 8.”
Bridget is preparing to join Frank as they travel to Hawaii and Australia to celebrate his birthday.
To follow the exploits of the cyclists, type in Mick Howarth on YouTube.
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/m-howarth.