One-legged cy­clist and pal com­plet­ing 1,000-mile jour­ney

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - News - BY GRAEME WILKIN­SON

Af­ter an epic 1,000-mile jour­ney, a one-legged surfer and his friend are on the fi­nal ... er ... leg of their jour­ney to Land’s End to­day.

‘Pe­g­leg’ Ben­nett, 49, and John Hud­son, 50, have cy­cled from John O’Groats, rais­ing more than £13,000 for two Cornish char­i­ties.

They are com­plet­ing their jour­ney on a four-wheeled Sur­rey bike with no gears. It’s the kind of trans­port de­signed for beach­side prom­e­nades and its awk­ward set-up means the pair have to get out and push up hills.

Pe­g­leg, from Per­ran­porth, walks, runs, cy­cles and surfs us­ing an adapted pros­thetic leg. He is a mem­ber of the Eng­land Adap­tive Surf Team and com­petes across the world in the stand-up class for ath­letes with miss­ing or am­pu­tated limbs.

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously climbed Mount Kil­i­man­jaro, trekked to Ever­est Base Camp, surfed the Sev­ern Bore and com- pleted the Three Peaks Chal­lenge in less than 24 hours, the friends came up with this lat­est idea as they chat­ted over a beer one win­ter’s evening two years ago.

They set off on Oc­to­ber 2 and hoped, de­spite a se­ries of set­backs, to cross the fin­ish line at Land’s End to­day.

The char­ity chal­lenge bike ride is be­ing com­pleted in or­der to raise money for two char­i­ties: Hand­stand – The Ap­peal for Marshall Jan­son, a Cornish boy who lost all four limbs shortly af­ter his first birth­day from menin­gi­tis; and The Wave Project, a Cornish-based na­tional char­ity which helps vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and young peo­ple im­prove their health and well­be­ing through a com­bi­na­tion of surf­ing and men­tor­ing.

An­nie Etheridge, who has co­or­di­nated the trip from Corn­wall, said: “With no gears it is im­pos­si­ble to cy­cle up a hill. The only way is to get off and push, which they did for days on end in the Scot­tish High­lands, fac­ing 50mph head­winds and lash­ing rain which also meant on oc­ca­sions that they ac­tu­ally had to pedal to go down­hill too.

“In week two of the chal­lenge, John was hos­pi­talised for three nights with a per­fo­rated large in­tes­tine, but on re­lease from hos­pi­tal was de­ter­mined to con­tinue.

“At the end of week four, they had run out of vol­un­teer driv­ers and had to com­plete a week shuf­fling a car and a van each day be­tween their start and fin­ish points in or­der to give them­selves a sup­port ve­hi­cle. It was de­mo­ti­vat­ing and al­most made them quit.”

She added: “Late on Satur­day the pedal shaft sheared off on one side. Pe­g­leg claimed it sheared on his side be­cause he was do­ing all the ped­alling.” A lo­cal garage owner opened up on Sun­day morn­ing and did a weld­ing re­pair.

To find out more about the ad­ven­tures and to make a do­na­tion, see their Face­book page at www.face­book.com/ TheJOGLEon/

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