Cyclists turn pedal power into pounds
A FUNDRAISER for campaigners fighting the closure of a children's heart surgery unit was held in the Avenues.
Rollapaluza saw sponsored cycles take place on stationary bikes set up in Pave in Princes Avenue.
Bar owner Steve Shaw knows first-hand how important the work of the unit is after seeing his son Tom undergo a lifesaving open-heart operation last year.
Steve said Tom may need further operations in future, which is why ensuring the unit remains in Yorkshire is paramount.
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The Rollapaluza race night, which raised more than £620 for the Children's Heart Surgery Fund, saw 56 cyclists pitted against each other.
Steve, 53, said: "This was the second year we've done the event and it was a roaring success.
"It was fantastic to get 56 entrants – we even had some guys come all the way from Leeds to take part.
"I think Olympic fever has gripped everyone, so there are lots more people wanting to give sport a go.
"I've got to admit, though, even though I had a little try, I didn't compete myself, I'm not fit enough."
Each entrant had to cycle 500m, racing against a friend.
Whoever won was put through to the next round until two finalists took on a 1km challenge at the end.
Steve said: "They were completing them in about 22 to 25 seconds and some of the rounds were very close – some of the differences were only 0.1 seconds."
The event was the second of its kind to be held at the café bar in conjunction with East Coast Bicycles.
Last year, Steve hosted a similar event, which raised £1,040.
He was inspired to host the evening after his son had a major operation at the Leeds General Infirmary.
Tom, 15, who attends Trinity House School, suffers from Fallot's Tatralogy.
Steve said: "It has been a year since Tom had his operation in Leeds.
"We're still waiting for an MRI scan to see how his artery is and whether he will need more surgery in future.
"It is possible he will have to have keyhole surgery on his heart.
"That is why it is so important to us that we fundraise for the campaign.
"Lots of parents can't understand why they would even consider closing it."
Both this year's and last year's events have proved to be so successful, Steve says they will probably become an annual event.
He said: "It was such a good night and a really great atmosphere – we'll be running them every year from now on."
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