Trio's 140-mile ride bids to turn BMX track dream into reality

Rob Harwin, Douglas Sawyer and Grant Brownlow in March

From left: Douglas Sawyer, Rob Harwin and Grant Brownlow standing in a park off Wigstone's Road, March where they hope a BMX/pump track will be built. - Credit: Rob Harwin

Three men are taking on a 140-mile coast-to-coast bike ride in a bid to install a new BMX pump track in March. 

Rob Harwin, Doug Sawyer and Grant Brownlow of March are cycling from Whitehaven to Tynemouth to help raise funds to build a new track on a park near Wigstone’s Road. 

“We all used to ride BMX when we were younger, so we are keen to give something back for the youth as we enjoyed riding through having a track,” Rob said. 

The trio are taking on the ride as part of the Wheels Project, which they restarted in 2018 after supporting a campaign to build a skate park in West End Park

This challenge between October 9-10 will be the first of its kind for Rob, who came up with the idea. 

“We didn’t know how we can raise a lot between us, so I said ‘why not do a sponsored bike ride?’” he said. 

“We’ve got a few miles under our belts and we might hit a few hurdles on the way, but I’m sure we will complete it.” 

Rob, Doug and Grant all come from a biking background and are keen to provide another BMX-like facility in the town. 

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They have been told by Fenland Council that a track can be built, but at least £100,000 needs to be raised in order to do so. 

And support for the project has already been in healthy supply. 

“We are hoping to get a minimum of £100k, not solely from the bike ride, but that’s the start,” said Rob. 

“Everyone we’ve spoken to is keen on the idea and we hope everybody wants it. 

“It has been a hectic few months as two of us have had newborn babies, but we have been trying as hard as we can.” 

The Wheels Project has previously tried to get a BMX track rebuilt, but were unable to do so due to other commitments. 

But Rob, Doug and Grant are ready to try again and believe a new track will bring a positive impact to March. 

“We want a reasonably-sized track for March and for people coming from out of town,” Rob added. 

Rob added: “We want it to be quite special and a good track that people will be interested in using.” 

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A pump track are smaller than BMX tracks, consist of jumps, rollers and berms and are made of tarmac or dirt.