If you’re planning a 250 mile bike ride in a half a week, you probably would plan the journey months ahead, buy a top of the range steam-lined cycle and train frequently to build up to peak fitness, wouldn’t you?
Well, not if you’re Adam Barnes, who decided he wanted to do something for charity in memory of his dad, Mark – who died in May this year – and couldn’t wait to get started on his epic fundraising challenge.
Not wanting let the grass grow under his feet, Adam, 30, bought a cheap second hand ’sit-up-and-beg’ bike and within two months of hitting on the idea completed the ride from the Scottish borders to Doncaster in just four days – all the time wearing a pair of Croc shoes.
The big-hearted dad of three, from Edenthorpe, was grinning all the way as friends and relatives rallied round to ensure that Big Barnesy’s Charity Bike Ride – as it was billed on facebook – raised a fantastic £4,016 to be shared equally between Sheffield’s Weston Park Hospital and the palliative care team at Doncaster’s St John’s Hospice, who looked after dad Mark for two years after his cancer diagnosis.
Adam’s epic ride is all the more impressive as he’s not built like cycling champ Mark Cavendish – weighing in at 23 stone and he likes a pint or two – and with the exception of a few 10 miles long rides, did no real preparation ahead of his big ride.
He said: “My dad was my best mate and after he retired as a policeman used to help me at work. If we had jobs in Scotland we would always stop off in Eyemouth as in the past we have gone fishing there – it was the perfect place to start from.
“My pal Lewis Fletcher accompanied me all the way and I have to say, considering my lack of training, I didn’t find it too bad at all, though peddling up steep in hills in freezing rain on the first day was a battle.”
The self-employed electrician navigated using GPS on his smartphone, but got a shock when he found out he had taken a wrong turn that added a further 50 miles to the journey – making it over 300 miles from start to finish.
But when he turned into his home road, the pavements were lined with cheering well-wishers, making it all worthwhile.
“I can’t believe how the bike stood up to the journey, to say it has small wheels and is really like a little shopper. No punctures, as the tyres a super thick, though by the time I got home the brakes were done for and the front wheel was slightly buckled. But I’m keeping it in case I do something as crazy again”, laughed Adam.
Lindsey Richards, from St John’s Hospice, said: “What an amazing achievement. Our palliative care team are planning to spend the money on comfort packs for patients they are caring for at home
“The Coronavirus pandemic is impacting on our fundraising activities so this donation of £2,008 is particularly welcome. We cannot thank Adam enough.”
St John’s Hospice is run by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).To find out about becoming a sponsor or to fundraise by holding an event, please contact the fundraising team on 01302 796662 or 01302 798391. Alternatively you can donate here:
Caption: Adam on his long ride home