A North Cotes man has set himself a mammoth charity challenge which will see him cycle from his home to London and back in just 24 hours.
Ben Oakley, 35, will be raising money for both Prostate Cancer UK and Target Ovarian Cancer when he carries out his venture on March 5 next year.
Starting at 3pm, Ben will begin the 645 kilometre route which will take him past Boston, Peterborough, Northampton, Luton, and eventually to London where his destination will be the Big Ben clock tower in Westminster.
Ben hopes to reach London at around 4am where, after a couple of quick photographs, he will turn on his heels and head straight back up to his home in sunny North Cotes.
Ben said: “I used to do cycling a long time ago, including lots of mountain biking up to Scotland, but obviously as my life changed and I moved to Lincolnshire - which is a bit flatter - I took up road cycling.
“I went to my local bike shop, VeloSport in Cleethorpes, and they got me all set up.
“That was only in June, and I’m now biking about 300km every week. Now, I am going on to this challenge just to push myself that bit further.”
When asked how he would be able to manage such a tough feat, Ben added: “I’m fairly fit anyway, as I’ve always done jobs that kept me fairly fit.
“With cycling, there’s not as much pressure on your body as running. I was running for a bit but I found that my legs started to get a bit tired so I switched to cycling.
“As long as you keep putting food in, your legs keep going round.
“The furthest I’ve biked so far is just over 200 kilometres, which is about 140 miles... the aim is 403 miles, but that’s the challenge.
“The challenge is biking for 24 hours non-stop, and it’s obviously going to be going overnight. The challenge is to get there and back home within the 24 hours, which will be an added bonus.
“It’s far more than I’ve ever done, and it’s far more than I’ve known most people do, so hopefully it’s going to be good.”
Ben has to fit in his intense training schedule around his work and his family life, but still somehow manages to cycle hundreds of kilometres every week in preparation. To read about Ben’s restless training schedule and track his progress, visit his blog at www.oakley24hrcycle.blogspot.co.uk/
Ben hopes that he can raise at least £500 each for Prostate Cancer UK and Target Ovarian Cancer and, while he is looking for support and sponsorship from companies, any support offered by kind-hearted members of the public would also be greatly appreciated.
Anybody who would like to support Ben’s fundraising by donating £2 towards Prostate Cancer UK can text ‘OTFC99 £2’ to 70070, and anybody who wants to donate £2 towards Target Ovarian Cancer can text ‘OTFC98 £2’ to 70070.
If you wish to make a bigger donation then simply replace ‘£2’ with the amount you would like to donate.
For those who prefer to donate online, visit www.justgiving.com/oakley24hour-prostate or visit www.justgiving.com/oakley24hour-ovarian.