You are here
NEWS & EVENTS
Steve completed his first cycle challenge for Theodora Children’s Charity in 2014, taking on the London to Paris bike ride. This initial experience ignited a cycling passion for Steve, eventually leading to him completing his biggest challenge yet: Land’s End to John o’Groats. The route spans the length of the United Kingdom in a challenging 1,000-mile bike ride. Steve share s what it is really like to take on such a huge challenge and why he has chosen to support Theodora Children’s Charity time and time again…
“I first started cycling when I was around 28, when an opportunity to ride with the Theodora Children’s Charity became available. I really wanted to fundraise for the Giggle Doctors because it was a charity that was UK based and I could see the direct help they were providing for the children.
My friend Rich and I plucked up the courage to do London to Paris, which was a four-day ride covering 350 miles. It was exhausting but I absolutely loved it. That ride turned me in to a sporty person – I’d been drinking most evenings and was fairly overweight. After fundraising for Theodora Children’s Charity for the London to Paris ride, I became addicted and I learnt what I should and should not be eating, how to train, how to do certain stretches. It completely changed my lifestyle, which is fantastic!
The next challenge was Coast to Coast. I had cycled long distances over the four days of the London to Paris bike ride, so this time I wanted to try an event with lots of hills!
Coast to Coast is a ride from Whitehaven through to Newcastle. It takes you through the Lake District and Pennines, so there are some serious climbs to tackle. I finished the ride and once again, absolutely loved it. I felt pretty good – tired but not exhausted – and set my sights on the next challenge – Land’s End to John o’Groats (LEJOG).
The training for LEJOG was two years. The first year was quite light but the second year was all consuming. Rich was cycling the challenge with me and we were going out 3 to 4 times a week in the evenings and between work. The training was almost as hard as the final challenge and we were going out in all conditions, including storms with 40 to 50 miles per hour winds. We felt it’s what we needed to do to have a chance at finishing the 1,000-mile route.
LEJOG was the hardest thing I have ever done but the high I got from completing the event was just incredible. It’s hard to explain, but when you’re on a challenge you have one goal and that is all you have to focus on. Time almost slows down, your life is simplified and you have nothing to worry about – all you have to do is cycle, then eat, then wash, then cycle again. There is no work, no washing, no ironing, no chores. There’s nothing - you just live in this little bubble. It is really addictive and a much-needed break from modern life, which is very chaotic. The challenge itself is hard but it is a simplified life where you keep pushing and then, at the end, you have really achieved something, both with the challenge and with fundraising for charity. That’s why I keep doing these challenges. It is an incredible feeling.
LEJOG was a massive undertaking. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Now I’m looking for my next big challenge. I’m running out of UK challenges, so I’m not sure what the next challenge will be, but I have seen a challenge to cycle Wales in one day, which is 185 miles in total… though maybe I should have a holiday first!”
Congratulations to Steve for completing so many challenging events and thank you for raising an incredible £2,720 since 2013. Steve’s support has helped us give giggles to hundreds of sick and disabled children in hospitals, hospices and specialist care centres.