09:00AM, Friday 14 August 2020
From left to right, Simon Fisher, Ben Whitmarsh, Tim Caldwell and Andy Caldwell
A former Cox Green School teacher hopped on a bike to raise money for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service and this weekend the charity is asking more cyclists to do the same.
Andy Caldwell, 44, and his cousin Tim, 45, who is registered blind, rode on a tandem bicycle from Lands End to John O’Groats and raised £6,326.
They began their 1,000 mile journey at the most westerly point of mainland Cornwall and England, on Monday, July 27 and arrived in the far north of Scotland on Thursday, August 6.
This weekend the Alexander Devine charity is encouraging others to get on their bikes and take part in the virtual Prudential RideLondon to raise more funds for its children’s hospice service.
The virtual event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, the same dates the mass participation festival of cycling, consisting of several events across London and Surrey, was scheduled to be held.
It was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic but people can still get involved by cycling 19 miles, 46 miles, 100 miles anywhere they choose.
There is also the ‘Freecycle Challenge’ where riders can choose a distance of their choice on the wheels of their choice - be it a bike, scooter, skateboard, trike, roller skates, wheelchair or anything that is self-propelled.
Andy and Tim’s completed their fundraising challenge on a tandem bike because Tim is registered blind after suffering a cardiac arrest in August 2013.
He went more than 70 minutes without oxygen and was put on a life support machine which was turned off after five days, but he survived.
Tim, who lives in Northwich, Cheshire, is now 95 per cent blind and it has also affected his short-term memory and fine motor skills.
Andy, who lives in Twyford, said: “Never did he expect to be able to walk again 7 years ago and now he has completed the toughest multi-way ride in the UK.
“I am just astounded at how each day he managed to get himself motivated, kept smiling and kept pedalling for those 1000 miles.”
The pair completed the challenge alongside Andy’s friends, Ben Whitmarsh and Simon Fisher, family and friends joined them for some stretches, and a support team who would meet them every two to three hours with food and drinks.
Tim said: “We were really fortunate to have an almost perfect 11 days of cycling and adventure.
“The first few days were very tough on the tandem for Tim as we had lots of Cornish and Devon hills to climb but our fellow cyclists helped us along the way.”
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