Dowse and former Cards stars gearing up for charity bike ride

WOKING FC manager Alan Dowson and two former players are taking part in a scaled-down charity bike ride between Knaphill and Brighton.

The annual Downslink Challenge, which raises money for Woking Hospice and a guest charity, was scheduled for June but had to be cancelled because of coronavirus.

Lloyd Wye, Alan Dowson, Scott Steele and Steve McKeown are ready for the off

The bike ride usually attracts about 60 riders and ends with a family day barbecue at the Garibaldi pub.

When lockdown restrictions were eased and cycling was included in the permitted sports and activities, Steve McKeown, the Downslink organiser, decided to run an adapted ride.

He is leading six riders for six weekends with various health and safety measures in place and has recruited Dowson along with Cards legends Lloyd Wye and Scott Steele.

They will ride the single “up” route from Brighton, covering 48 miles. Steve is doing the return journey from Knaphill and back.

Dowson told the News & Mail that he agreed to take part because it is raising money for the hospice and the Woking-based domestic abuse charity, YourSanctuary.

“These are really worthwhile causes and it’s important to support local charities,” Dowse said.

He said he rides a bike but hasn’t done any training.

“It’ll probably take me three days. I’ll put a tent on the back in case I can’t make it and have to sleep out,” he joked.

Dowse said it would be a pleasure cycling alongside Wye and Steele.

“They are local legends. If they were still playing, they’d be the first names on the team sheet.”

But Dowse doesn’t think much of the former star players’ cycling ability.

“Lloyd looks the part, but Scotty’s bike still has stabilisers.”

To help with the fundraising, Downlink Challenge T-shirts can be bought for £20, with £10 going to the charities, at www.riders.saddlesore.bike.

For more on this story, get the 30 July edition of the News & Mail, in shops today

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