Hassan heads out for 1,000-mile dream cycle
AN ‘occasional cyclist’ is set to pedal from Land’s End to John O’Groats for charity.
Hassan Pillai, 67, from Bollinbrook, will set off on the 1,000 mile journey on June 27 along with seven others in an event organised by charity Sustrans.
The ride, which has been broken down into stages, will take 17 days and is due to finish on July 13.
Father-of-three Hassan said he had enjoyed cycling in the Peak District since retiring and he has wanted to try going from Land’s End to John O’Groats for a long time.
He said: “It has been a dream ultimate experience for many years and I am very fortunate to undertake this with the support of Sustrans.”
Hassan has so far raised £1,100 of his £1,500 target and is being supported in his efforts by a former employer.
Hassan added: “Before I retired I worked with Barclays. They’ve agreed to match any donations I get up to £750.”
Hassan is undertaking the ride for Sustrans, which has organised the challenge to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the National Cycle Network, as well as a charity in Africa.
He said: “I’m also raising money for Ndi Moyo, a hospice in Malawi that provides care for people with terminal illnesses.
“They really need funds to buy a new ambulance.”
Hassan has not given much thought to which part of the journey he thinks will be his favourite but says he is looking forward to Scotland.
He said: “The ride takes me to part of Scotland I’ve never been to before, so I’m quite looking forward to that.”
The first day of the ride is a 76.5 mile ride from Land’s End to Bodmin, with the last day of the ride, from Betty Hill to John O’Groats being just 51 miles. Kate Jones, events fundraising manager at Sustrans said they’d designed the route to take in the best of the National Cycle Network – which now covers almost 14,000 miles of routes across the country.
She said: “Riders will experience mountains, lakes and bridges, whilst taking on one of cycling’s most challenging rides.
“We’re delighted that Hassan is taking on this amazing effort to cycle the length of the country and encourage people to sponsor him with whatever they can.”
The planned route should pass close to Knutsford on July 3.
Anyone who wishes to donate can do so at www. justgiving.com/HassanPillai-LEJOG
●● Hassan Pillai preparing for his bike ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End