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