Virtual cycle to Barcelona raises money for hospice

Stephen Down took on a cycle from Brighton to Barcelona to raise money for Martlets Hospice.

Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 12:30 pm

He undertook the virtual ride in 67 days and on average Stephen cycled around 25kms a day.

Stephen grew up in Horsham and moved to Hove from London last August with his wife and two year old toddler.

On why he decided to raise money for the hospice he said: "The Martlets Hospice helped support my wife and her family through a difficult time.

"My wife lost her mum to cancer, so the charity has always been important to us.

"I've done marathons and half-marathons for them in the past and they reached out to ask if I could undertake any challenge to help fundraise for them during lockdown.

"I couldn't run as my wife is shielding, so I came up with the idea of doing a virtual cycle from Brighton to Barcelona instead - a distance that would be achievable in three months.

Stephen's target is £1,500 and so far he has managed £1,400.

He said: "It was definitely tough going, but there were some highlights along the way; being able to watch the whole series of ‘The Last Dance’ out in the garden and getting to enjoy an abundance of croissants, red wine, coffee and paella.

"I treated myself to plenty of local treats throughout to ensure I kept the vibe going for France and Spain.

"I even tried to re-create the Pyrenees by wacking the resistance on the bike to maximum and pushing as much as I could.

"My legs are done and deserve a good rest - they're going in an ice bath."

He added that having the support from his friends and family was a big motivation and it feels wonderful to have raised money for such an important local chairty.

But it seems the virtual cycle hasn't put him off doing it for real.

Stephen said: "I have a few friends who are active cyclists and so I know I could get a group of us to go and spend a couple of weeks cycling all the way to Barcelona. 2025 perhaps?"

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

Stay safe, and best wishes.