A group of pals are making the 300-mile trip to Newcastle on their mountain bikes in memory of a friend who died in 2009 after being diagnosed with cancer.

Dan Sharpe, Kevin Tingey, Mikey Wenn, Christopher Turner and Dave Lancaster will be heading for the Angel of the North sculpture in a ride they have branded To an Angel for an Angel.

They are raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust after their friend Sam Hall, of Staploe, died aged 24.

Mr Sharpe, 29, who went to school with Sam, said the support from the trust, which helps 13 to 24 year olds, had inspired them to raise ­thousands of pounds towards its work, holding events such as darts competitions, sponsored walks, community rounders matches and cycle rides.

"This has sparked something inside all of us to continue to raise funds for this truly amazing charity in any way we can," he said.

"This year we have been training since the cold February months out in snow and rain to prepare."

The group set off from the Millers Arms, Eaton Socon, at 7am today (Tuesday) - exactly five years to the day after their friend died.

Day one will take them to Lincoln, then on to York on the second day, Middlesbrough by the third and Newcastle on the fourth.

Their accommodation will be tents and they will be supported by Martin Walton and Clive Titmus, who will follow them in a van, courtesy of Applegate Van Hire, in Eaton Socon.

On their return, a party has been organised on Sunday (July 13) at the Millers Arms, which has hosted many of the group's fundraisers.

Mr Sharpe said there will be a barbecue, bouncy castle and a raffle, with prizes donated by ­businesses, and everyone is welcome to attend.

INFORMATION: To sponsor the pals, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/make-a-donation/ and put "Dan Sharpe" in the "sponsor your friend" box, then go to "To an Angel for an Angel".