Mum’s the word for first-time cycling team

Stephanie Scrase, centre, with Sarah Gibbs, Rachael Barnard, Natalie Giles and Anna Campbell
Stephanie Scrase, centre, with Sarah Gibbs, Rachael Barnard, Natalie Giles and Anna Campbell

A mum of four is taking part in the toughest road cycling event to support the autism charity where she works.

Stephanie Scrase, from Buckingham, is part of a five-woman cycling team aiming to complete L’Etape du Tour – a tough mountain stage of the Tour de France – to promote awareness and fundraise for groundbreaking early years autism charity The Puzzle Centre, in Middle Claydon.

All five women in the Puzzle5Etape are Buckinghamshire mothers in their 40s who either work at Puzzle or have a child on the autism spectrum.

None of them had ever ridden a road bike until a few months ago but they’re training hard for the ride on July 19, which will see them covering 142km, climbing around 60km over four mountains at an average gradient of 6.5 per cent.

French-born Mrs Scrase, aged 47, is a nursery co-ordinator at Puzzle.

A Buckingham resident for over 20 years, Mrs Scrase is originally from Buckingham’s twin town of Mouvaux and is chairman of the town twinning committee.

She said: “Climbing a mountain is what parents of autistic children have to do every day. They never know what is coming round the corner and the road is paved with difficulties.

“Having worked at Puzzle for the past seven years, I have seen the difference Puzzle can make to a child and their family in their effort to reach that summit – being able to communicate.

“It is a remarkable and unique place and I am truly privileged to work in such an environment.”

The five mums have been training since September, and will be doing a 100km ride together every Sunday morning until July.

Mrs Scrase said: “It’s actually a really, really good sport. The only regret I have is that I didn’t take it up sooner.”

The team is being sponsored by Rapha cycle clothing, Trek bikes, OTE Sports Nutrition and Nuffield Health.