When we here at BBHQ heard about a rider that had just completed a 380 mile ride in one go we were mega impressed….when we heard he had done it and only been cycling for 2 years we were even more impressed….when we heard he had only been cycling for 2 years and completed 9 everest challenges, 10000 miles last year and aiming for 13,000 and over a million feet of climbing this year and was the first ever cyclist to cycle round the Top Gear Track…..we HAD to speak to this man if not impressed by this his get up and go or intimidated by his already impressive cycling stats that I know most seasoned cyclists would love to have – then we would be shocked!
It all started on 31st may 2014 when I decided to buy my first ever road bike, my choice of bike was a cube agree 2014 model. I’d never experienced a road bike so it was all new to me, I remember 2 occasion of approaching the traffic lights trying to unclip out of my pedals to bring myself to a stop thinking how I am ever going to get used of these bloody things! But after these two setbacks I was determined I was going get used to this. My fitness was just as bad as my ability to ride a road bike first going off, improving my fitness was my biggest priority not knowing the limits I would push myself over the last 2 years. So…. my first biggest challenge was valleys velo signing myself up to this as soon as I had purchased my road bike, not knowing how gruelling this would be it was 57 miles, 6,000 ft. climbing including some of wales best climbs those of which were Rhigos,bwlch,Penrhys,Graigwen and maerdy. I actually come and overall 9th completing it in 3 hours 22 minutes.
The love for cycling from that day has grown always wanting to do more, the adrenaline and the feeling of completing something challenging is just immense, a few small rides later I wanted something bigger! I heard of a challenge called everesting it had never been completed in south wales, I wanted to do this so bad. Me and my friend Rhodri Thomas decided that we would do this together not knowing of the brutality that was ahead of us. Maybe more planning would of preventing us choosing a day which sent us all types of weather (typical welsh weather really). On the morning of 22nd November 2014 at 4am I met up with Rhodri at the bottom of the rhigos mountain, we were doomed from the very beginning as the rain was pouring down but as we were determined we carried on, a few stops were made to fuel ourselves up but there was not enough fuel in this world to keep us going with everything against us we decided to call it a day and head home after 122 miles in 15,500 ft. climbing and 10 hours of riding our attempt to completing the first everesting challenged had failed. This made a big dent to my pride as I am not a quitter! But instead of it beating me it made me ever more determined that I would someday defeat the Rhigos everesting challenge!!!
I continued to get the miles in getting fitter and faster, during the Christmas period in 2014 I got sponsored by www.craftsportswear.co.uk it was such an amazing help so I wanted to make my sponsor proud and happy of what I do, I didn’t rush into my next Everest challenge so I allowed the time to plan this one tidy. I waited till 6th April 2015 the hill I picked was local right on my doorstep, this meant I was to do 108 miles, 30,015 ft. climbing, 13 hours 25 mins riding with 88 reps of this hill. The people in my local village thought I was crazy, but the support was tremendous it kept me going through the toughest times during my everesting challenge. I did it I achieved my first Everest, it felt great I was the first in south wales to complete an Everest challenge even the papers done a story on it.
My first charitable ride was next to complete I was stuck on what I was to do for such an amazing cause. My friend came up with the idea A Ride to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and back home in aid of the charity Latch, for a local boy named Luke who was 10 years old suffering with leukaemia. So I planned the charity bike ride, some big training rides were ahead of me to prepare myself to complete the ride. But there was no ride in this world that was going to get me ready for that! On the 23rd may 2015 I set off to do 309 miles, 24,800 ft. climbing, 18 hours 25 minutes of riding it was tough, it would be the longest I had ever sat on the saddle for with no sleep for 30 plus hours. Hill after hill I rode it was extremely hard but I got the job done, I raised £1,700 for LATCH and £400 pound for the family. There is no better feeling in the world knowing you could have changed someone’s life for the better. I was beginning to get the bug raising money towards charity, after all I was doing something I loved in return for helping unfortunate people.
Then comes my next everesting just weeks after my charity bike ride I choose to do it on the famous TUMBLE! I knew the day was going to be long and hard but no challenge I choose is ever easy Ha-ha. I planned to start around 4am but could not sleep, enough was enough I eventually decided to start at 1.30am on 4th June 2015. I remember it being a cold morning but after 1 rep I began to warm up, from then on I got stuck in it took 140 miles, 30,000 ft. climbing and 13 hours 30 minutes of riding. My second Everest under the belt I was so happy with myself, I was so tired and drained but already I was planning my next one.
A local boy named Tye Hawkins was involved in a hit and run accident leaving him in a bad way, this was it my next charity bike ride time to dust of the trusty old bike. A Lot of planning went into Tye’s ride numerous emails and messages were sent out to Liverpool, Everton and also man united football club for anything that may help me raise even more funds for the ride. I knew the Tye’s father and family, but it also pulled on my heart strings as my sister was involved in a hit and run accident which too left her in a fatal way. So chatted with Tye’s family, as Tye is a Liverpool fan it only felt right that I should ride from Aberdare to anfield and back. it would take approx. 300 miles I had raised £1,500 so the idea came about that if I could raise £2,000 before my ride I will add 70 more miles to my ride, which would lead me onto Goodson park and old Trafford. We did it we had hit the target! This could only mean more mileage upon realisation I thought NO!! What had I let myself in for? The day had come 16th October 2015 I rode 378 miles, 12,900 ft. climbing and 22 hours 7 minutes of riding. It was a tough day with the all the wind and weather, but it was worth it considering we had raised £2,200 which helped Tye and his family with their everyday struggles. I get more satisfaction knowing he’s doing so well! It’s so rewarding to see!
After completing my latest charity ride I stumble upon a story on Facebook of a local lady called Michelle Sherwood who had been diagnosed with an incurable cancer. She had been given just 6 months to live! I remember thinking to myself how could this be happening to such a young woman with 5 kids, she may never see them grow up may never be involved in their life’s struggles and journeys. I could never imagine what this must feel like being a father myself this truly had me heart stricken, I was stuck for things to do I was open to suggestions when someone said why don’t you do and Everest? As it was so close to Christmas with just 5 day to go until the big day an Everest would be perfect! On the 20th December 2015 I climbed Cwmbach chippy hill 300 time, 34,000 ft., 137 miles and 17 hours of riding. The weather that day was horrific every type of weather you could imagine I experienced that day! I was close to giving up on many occasions that day but every time I felt this way someone would arrive there to spur me on, this was what kept me going as that support I received that day was tremendous! All in all I raised a grand total of £1600 which is amazing with it being so close to Christmas.
After my last charitable bike ride of 2015 it was a few weeks rest for me until my yearly challenge which would consist of a everesting every month, permitting I get enough time to fit in a few more! Between the charity bike rides and other boring things such as work HaHa. 2016 is a new year so far I have completed 4 everesting, on January 14th I conquered Rhigos Road 200 miles, 29,100 ft. climbing and 16 hours of riding. On 18th February I attempted the very steep Rhiwr Road Llanelli hill 73 miles, 29,100 ft. and 12 hours of riding and completed the brutal hill. Next up was crematorium hill Llwycoed on 12th march 167 miles, 30,000 ft. climbing and 15 hours 20 minutes riding. My latest one to date came about on the 17th April on the Rhigos Mountain which was 200 miles 29,400 ft. and 16 hours 30 minutes.
https://www.strava.com/activities/469934908 Rhigo Road.
https://www.strava.com/activities/496533176 Rhiwr Road LLanelly Hill.
https://www.strava.com/activities/514912261 Crematorium hill Lwycoed.
https://www.strava.com/activities/538365284 Rhigos Mountain.
Next up my charitable bike ride this year was for a little boy called Vinnie jones who is suffering from type 1 muscular dystrophy, I wanted to ride to surrey in hope to meet little Vinnie but vital medication were arranged for that day, my friend arranged almost everything for that day but I had no idea of what he had in store for me! My girlfriend and my friend had kept it a secret until confirmation of what was in store for me was set in stone. Eventually my friend had received confirmation and they told me what I was doing? I was so excited I was getting to do a lap around the top gear track! It wasn’t even on my bucket list but I instantly felt like this was going to be the best so far! on 27th April I set off at 8:30pm to arrive at the track between 11:30 and 12:00pm that day, it was going to take me approximately 9 hours and 190 miles of riding I was siked and ready to get a great time! We had arrived at 11:10 on the 28th April greeted by the top gear experience team, they were so friendly and as excited as me! They took me around the track to get a feel for how the track was laid out, I got back to the start line where my bike awaited. They counted down 3…2…1 go! I was off the wind was blowing me back it felt like I was peddling fast but getting nowhere, I was determined to get a good time! Finally I had completed the race coming in on the leader board with a time of 4 minutes 36 seconds, WOW I thought that’s a good time to which everyone agreed! After the race I was aloud to take a tour of the studios where I was given loads of merchandise to auction towards the charity. I was so proud of what I had achieve but I was yet to face the 170 mile ride home. I got stuck into it at around 14:10, I thought to myself I’ve done it again! Why do I do this to myself? But as I rode on through the long country lanes all I could think of was the end result of how great it feels to have completed and raised so much for yet another great cause. Racking up 380 miles, 17,000 ft. climbing 23 hours 30 minutes riding that well-earned hot bubble bath that awaited me back home. When I could finally sigh and say I’ve done it, Already I’m looking for my next one I’ve had a few things recommended but it’s just so hard to pick one as I just want to help each and every one, I wish I could!
My goals for 2016:
- 13,000 miles done 4,500 miles so far.
- 1,000,000 ft climbing done 367,300 ft climbing so far.
- Few charity rides 1 charity done.
- 1 everest every month of the year(4 done so far).