Published on: Thursday 18 Jun 2015 at 15:52
He has set himself the incredible challenge of completing four arduous bike rides in three months covering 390 miles with 36,000ft of climbing, all in aid of St Clare. With two down and two to go, John has already raised more than £5,500.
The first and possibly hardest challenge of the four took place on May 10 in the Lake District. The Fred Whitton Challenge is acknowledged as one of the hardest one-day cycle events in the UK, comprising 12,000ft of climbing over 112 miles taking in all the major passes across the Lakes.
John said: “In typical Fred Whitton weather (rain and gale force winds), I left the start at 6am along with 2,000 other hopefuls, to finish 9hr 20min later.
“To say this was the hardest thing I have done would be an understatement. The climbing is relentless, sapping your energy reserves. And whilst I thought the descents would be a chance to rest, they are lethal; very steep, broken road surfaces and you have to keep the brakes on most of the way down.”
He added: “Given the weather, the support was fantastic, with plenty of people out at key points ringing cow bells and shouting encouragement.
“Whilst it is immensely satisfying to have completed the challenge, it is something that I do not anticipate repeating…ever!”
His second ride, the Chiltern 100 on May 31, saw John travel 110 miles across the Chilterns with 21 climbs totalling 9,000ft, and this Sunday (June 21) he takes on London to Brighton. If the 54 miles between the two cities wasn’t enough, John is adding on an extra 31 miles by cycling to the start in Clapham from his home in Hemel Hempstead.
John will complete his challenge on July 19 when he participates in L’Etape. Probably one of the best known and hardest amateur cycling events, the route encompasses a stage of the Tour de France, incorporating three alpine climbs over 85 miles.
John, who works as a regional manager for HSBC, was inspired to raise money for St Clare through his work with Takeley-based housebuilder Weston Homes. Over the years, the company has raised thousands of pounds for the Hospice through owner Bob Weston’s annual golf day and other fundraising activities.
You can sponsor John by visiting his JustGiving page.