Cycling event puts Chris on road to romance

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Organising a charity bike has put a Fylde coast cyclist on the road to romance.

Chris O’Hare, from Singleton, was out training for Wheelers for Watamu Coast to Coast Cycle Ride, when he was stopped in his tracks by fellow cycling enthusiast, Gabriella Gratrix.

“We had both gone to meet up with a lot of others to go for a long ride, got talking about the Coast to Coast and it started from there. We have been seeing each other ever since,” he said.

And they are now such an item that Gabriella has signed up for the one-day 150 mile marathon cycle ride from Whitby to Blackpool , along with 30 members and friends of Poulton Wheelers, on June 14.

The event is fund-raising for Children of Watamu’s Happy House Children’s Home, in Kenya, built and run by former Blackpool landlady Sue Hayward and where she is ‘mama’ to 82 orphaned, abandoned or abused children.

Gabriella, from Lytham, is also joining Chris and his son Jacob,14, when they go out to the Happy House to volunteer this summer.

Chris, a property developer and landlord, said: “When I started planning the Coast to Coast, I was feeling a bit down my luck and thought it would give me the strength I need to get my life back on track, as well as helping other people much less fortunate than me.

“I never imagined I’d meet such a wonderful woman and be having so much fun and it is all thanks to the Happy House and Coast to Coast.”

Support Wheelers for Watamu challenge by making a donation at To find out more about the Happy House, visit