Cyclists take on 650 miles across five countries in five days

Simon Storey and fellow cyclists at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.
Simon Storey and fellow cyclists at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh.

A Leamington dad and keen rugby player has spent the past week taking part in a gruelling 650-mile cycle across five countries in five days to raise funds for charity.

Simon Storey, along with eight friends, came up with what the team have called the ‘Big 5 Cycle Challenge’, taking them from Edinburgh to Belfast to Dublin to Cardiff and then ending in London.

Simon and his fellow cyclists wanted to do something in memory of two friends: Lawrence Sherriffs (known as ‘Loz’), who died suddenly at the age of 41 of a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and Napton woman Kate Vanloo, who was killed while out cycling in a road collision in January.

Both were close friends of Simon, who used to play rugby with Lawrence and took part in a John O’Groats to Land’s End cycle with Kate two years ago.

The team are hoping to raise £10,000 for heart charity Cardiomyopathy UK.

Simon, dad to Milly, Chloe and Elise, said: “I’m always looking for a challenge and, having a bit of time on my hands a few years ago, I decided to organise a series of cycle challenges which I was fortunate to have some friends join me for. The series was to cycle from coast to coast at the thinnest, widest and longest points of Great Britain and between a total of 13 of us who took part, we raised over £14,000 for various charities.

“So after a bit of badgering from some of the guys, I decided to organise another challenge and I came up with this, the Big 5 Cycle Challenge.

“The hardest part of the challenge will be on the final day when we ride from Cardiff to London - 175 miles!”

The route also included 127 miles on the first day, 118 on the second and 106 and 107 miles on the third and fourth day respectively.

To sponsor Simon and his fellow cyclists, visit www.thebig5ride.co.uk

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that affects one in 500 people in the UK. It can affect anyone of any fitness level and at any age. Cardiomyopathy UK provides information and support to those who have or have been affected by the condition. To find out more, visit www.cardiomyopathy.org