Five men and their parrot cycling hundreds of miles to raise money for charity

The five men are cycling from Abergavenny to Camborne in Cornwall to raise money for Asthma + Lung UK. Credit: The Beaufort, Raglan

A green parrot is headed on a marathon journey across Wales and England on the handlebars of some human helpers, all in aid of charity.

The Amazon parrot called Kiki and a peloton of five cyclists are riding from Abergavenny to Cambourne in Cornwall to raise money for Asthma + Lung UK.

Mel Sussex, 74, who organised the challenge is raising money in memory of his grandson, Gavin, who died aged 17 after suffering an asthma attack at home in Cornwall 19 years ago.

They set off on the epic five-day journey across the country on Monday morning and expect to cover 240 miles.

Mel is embarking on the challenge as part of his role as club captain at The Monmouthshire Golf Club in Abergavenny. He said Gavin was born and brought up in Cornwall, so he thought "it was a good idea in memory of him to ride from Abergavenny to Cambourne".

"It's 240 mile-ish," he said, "We're doing it over five days and we're averaging about 50 mile a day."

Mel is taking on the challenge with his son Bradley, son-in-law Mark Edwards, brother-in-law and parrot owner, Paul Blowers and Sam Blowers, Mel's nephew.

The 74-year-old said, "We're an aged group with two youngsters in tow, but we have to keep them in check and they go at our pace!"

According to Asthma + Lung UK, 1 in 5 people in the UK will live with a lung condition. Paying tribute to the charity's work, Mel Sussex said, "I particularly want to raise money for all children who suffer from this debilitating condition."

As for Kiki the parrot, Mel said, "Everybody wants to see the parrot and they want to stroke the parrot and hold him on their hand.

"So far he hasn't actually bitten anybody yet!"

It's not the first time Kiki has been out for a ride, said Sam. "He goes out for riding my dad all the time. So he's kind of used to it - he absolutely loves it".

The team have already raised more than £4,000 for the charity since they started fundraising at the end of May.

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