A CHARITY cyclist from New Brighton has pedalled the equivalent of York to New York and halfway back in a 5,000 mile biking marathon for sick children this year.
And to make the feat more remarkable, Michael Hughes, a 49-year-old estate agent, has done the distance in aid of Action Medical Research while holding down a full time job.
Bosses at Sidney Phillips in York have been totally supportive of the Merseyside man’s astonishing efforts and have even supplied him with a comfortable cushion for his office chair in case he gets saddle sore.
Mr Hughes, who hails from New Brighton, is pictured handing over a cheque for £10,106.34 to Val Hogg from Action Medical Research.
He said: “There is still time to give before Christmas and every penny can make a difference to the lives of sick children.
“A friend from the Wirral’s sister, Helen Roth, died in February 2010 from meningitis. Her father had passed away not long before. He was the well respected Liverpool Echo news editor Alf Green, and I noticed a charity ride for Action Medical Research was taking place in York in August 2010.
“The publicity for the event noted that AMR were funding research into meningitis B, so I took part in the 100km ride and raised £300.
“Having completed the event I decided that I needed to continue the fundraising.
“I therefore decided to undertake more AMR events including the London to Paris ride in 2011. I augmented this ride to include York to Paris, The Brecon 100 and a repeat of the York 100.
“This time the 100s would be miles and would give me a target to complete 1,000 km in 28 days and in 2011 I raised £3,500.
“I then continued my efforts in 2012 and included the punishing Etape Alpine challenge in my charity schedule.
“This event, organised by AMR, included 114km of Alpine cycling over 3,500m of climbing including the legendary Tour De France routes of Col du Telegraph, Col du Galibier, and finishing at the top of Alpe d'Huez.
“My rides for 2012 raised £3,300 for Action Medical Research.
“With the success of previous years, 2013 allowed me to target £10,000 for my fundraising.
“With the aim of £3,200 for 2013 I would successfully have raised £10,000 in three years.
“The first £300 was just practice! I therefore aimed to cycle 5000 miles in the year. This would include the historic 205km L'eroica ride in Italy in October.
“This was an historic ride for cycles built before 1987. I spent the winter of 2012/2013 rebuilding a 1954 F.H. Carpenter cycle.
“When my fundraising for the year had reached £3,304 I presented a cheque to AMR for £10,104.
“I still have just over 136 miles to cover to reach my target of 5,000 miles for 2013, but I’m now up against the weather to reach my target before the end of December.”
Those wishing to sponsor Michael Hughes’ marathon efforts can do so by clicking on to - www.action.org.uk/sponsor/mjdh