Cyclist rides double the Land’s End to John O’Groats distance for charity

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It is no secret riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats is one of the toughest cycling challenges you can do in the UK.

So it stands to reason after completing the near 1000-mile route most people would look to take a break from the saddle.

Not Stuart Almeida from Northwich however.

After setting off from Cheshire on September 1, the DPD driver is completing the journey twice over 16 days and is set finish his epic ride on September 16.

The 53-year-old, who celebrated his birthday halfway through his ride, is putting himself to the test to raise money for Knutsford-based charity Children’s Adventure Farm Trust.

He said: “A few people I know have done Land’s End to John O’Groats and there’s no point in just doing what somebody else has done so I thought I’ll have a go at doing it twice.

“It’s quite tough going in Cornwall and Devon – they’ve got a lot of hills.

“I’ve done a few things, a bit of riding in the Alps, which a quite big one-day challenges but I’ve never done back to back 100-mile days for 16 days.

Northwich Guardian: Stuart, second from left, was joined by wife Sarah and other members of Tatton Velo during his leg through KnutsfordStuart, second from left, was joined by wife Sarah and other members of Tatton Velo during his leg through Knutsford

“The Tour de France do about 2,000 miles over three weeks and they have two days off. I’m doing around 2,000 miles over 16 days with no day off.

“It was a bit daunting, but after the first two days I was feeling good.

“Scotland was the real crunch as the weather can do anything up there.”

On his birthday, Stuart met up with his wife Sarah and their friends at Tatton Velo, the cycling club he rides with, who cheered him on as he set off on the second half of his journey.

It was tough going for Stuart, but when times got hard, his motivation for doing the challenge saw him through.

He added: “I’m doing this all for charity – CAFT. The club I ride for, Tatton Velo, are affiliated to the charity and do a lot for them.”They are a local charity, which I like as you know the money is going directly to them and it is a very worthwhile cause.

“They help out a lot of kids who are more disadvantaged than the rest of us and gives them a bit of respite from whatever ails them.

“They are a charity I liked the idea of straight away and they are struggling at the minute just like everyone else. Lockdown has hit charities hard.

“During those tough moments on the challenge when I was struggling I just thought about who I was doing this for and that helped me get through.

“I also had a lot of well-wishes and if I had hard moments I could look through the messages and it soon picked me up.”

Stuart has raised more than £950 so far. To donate, head online to justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-almeida1.