This time last year, when the world locked down, lots of us picked up new hobbies or skills. Some decided to take up walking – others used furlough to (try) and learn that language we’ve always wanted to pick up. However, naturally and understandably, we didn’t all stick to our newfound habits as the world opened up again, British weather got the best of us and that friendly green owl who teaches you languages got his notifications firmly switched off.
But not these 6 cyclists.
Fast forward 12 months and these 6 business owners have really have got the bug for cycling. So much so, that the team of six friends is now setting off on a fundraising ride from the most northern point in Scotland to the UK’s most southerly point at the tip of Cornwall.
With a target of raising £10,000 for the charity Prostate Cymru, the lads will begin their journey at John O’Groats in the Scottish highlands and spend the next 9 days cycling near 100 miles per day, to Lands’ End in Cornwall. The ride is aptly called ‘Pedal4Prostate’ and the total ride will cover more than 1,000 miles over nine days.
Brian Stokes, Director of IT & Telecoms company ITCS, didn’t even own a bike this time last year: “I’ve always been into fitness but I definitely was no cyclist!” He says, “But I really am a big believer in giving back wherever I can, and I also love a challenge. A few years ago I climbed Kilimanjaro to raise money for Welsh charity Latch, and wanted to challenge myself again last year – we had planned on climbing another mountain. But with travel restrictions and lockdown, it wasn’t possible, so that’s where the idea for Pedal4Prostate was born”.
The team consists of a team of 6 welsh business owners and employees of Welsh businesses, including Jonathan Morgan, 31, from Neath, owner of the multi-branched Peter Morgan Estate Agents; Gareth John, 50, from Llanelli, who is the director at Agent Pro Estate Agent Software; Brian Stokes, 45, from Maesteg, owner of IT Support and Business Telecoms company ITCS, Rhodri Jervis, 24, from Neath, who is a BT Openreach engineer; 32-year-old solicitor Ben Garvey from Port Talbot, who is a partner at David W Harris Solicitors in Swansea; and Richard Wanklyn, 38, from Baglan, who is finance manager for Neath Port Talbot Council. They will have team support from friend Chris Davies.
Their cycle trip is planned as follows:
Day 1 – John O’Groats to Inverness – 122 miles
Day 2 – Inverness to Crianlarich – 111 miles
Day 3 – Crianlarich to Abington – 98 miles
Day 4 – Abington to Lake Windemere – 107 miles
Day 5 – Lake Windermere to Chester – 104 miles
Day 6 – Chester to Hereford – 93 miles
Day 7 – Hereford to Taunton – 105 miles
Day 8 – Taunton to Bodmin – 95 miles
Day 9 – Bodmin to Land’s End – 60 miles
Prostate Cymru is mainly volunteer-led and gets no government funding, relying on the generosity of fundraisers. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Wales and the second most common cause of cancer death in UK men after lung cancer. As a man in Wales, the risk of having prostate cancer is one in eight.
Pedal4Prostate aims to help men in Wales by improving equipment for prostate treatments to ensure they have access to the best possible treatments available on the NHS.
If you’d like to get involved in this very worthy cause, there is a dedicated JustGiving page where donations can be made, visit the site here.
You can also follow @pedal4prostate_ on Instagram to keep up to date with the group’s updates throughout their journey.