Charity

Heswall man gets on his bike for Cancer Research

By Mary Wells

A Heswall dad took on an extreme Tour de France-style cycling challenge to help people fight cancer. In the end the extremeness of it all took its toll, but that doesn’t diminish a great effort that raised more than £1,000.

David Taylor aimed to cycle over 400km (255 miles) from Leicester to Carlisle in two days, staying overnight in Liverpool, to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The 46-year-old, who works for housing association Riverside, began the challenge with colleague and keen cyclist Simon Allcock from Cambridge.

The intrepid duo

This was the toughest ride David has ever embarked on, as he usually cycles around 100km (60 miles) a week for leisure compared to the vast distance covered in two days.

The pair began the first day’s ride at the organisation’s Leicester hub, and in the evening they were given a heroes’ welcome at Riverside head office in south Liverpool before continuing on to their final destination for the day, the housing association’s district office in the north of the city at 8.30pm. They completed the 125-mile stretch in 13 hours.

“On the first day we started off really quick and then after about 100 miles started slowing down. We began the journey doing the scenic route along the canal paths but quickly realised that it would take forever to get to Liverpool. We stopped off at the National Memorial Arboretum for a coffee and went on the A roads which was terrifying at times, especially when the trucks came thundering past,” recalls father of two, David.

He added: “My gear cable broke in Hale but a visit to the bike shop fixed the problem for the next day’s ride. It was night time when we reached Riverside head office in Liverpool, and it was such a lovely surprise to be greeted by our loyal of group fans who cheered us on – it gave us a huge lift and spurred us on for the next day’s ride.”

Rainy spells didn’t dampen their spirits riding to Riverside’s Carlisle office the next day. But sadly 68 miles in to this leg of the challenge at Kendal, David suffered a knee injury and couldn’t go any further. Simon continued alone while David hopped on a train and greeted him at the finishing line.

David and Simon were reunited in Carlisle

David added: “The second day started off well, though it rained at times. But my knee got rapidly worse to the point where I was unable to pedal anymore. I was really gutted to be so close to the finish but unable to carry on. I also felt bad because Simon had to complete the rest of the journey alone.”

Their charity effort was all worth it, as the pair raised £1,200 which boosted the massive £88,000 fundraised by staff at Riverside for Cancer Research UK.

David continued: “I’m really pleased to have taken on the challenge with Simon, as it makes such a difference having a cycling partner with you and we had a great laugh despite the aches. We’re really pleased with the amount raised and thankful for everyone’s support.”

If you wish you can visit Simon and David’s fundraising page by clicking or tapping here.