A Bourne businessman is saddling up for the challenge of a lifetime after pledging to cycle 2,000 miles for charity.
Jason Skinner (40), who only took up cycling last year in order to get himself fit, entered a competition to win a new bike on the spur of the moment and pledged to ride from his Elsea Park home to his parents’ house in Almeria, southern Spain, if he was the lucky winner.
Much to Jason’s surprise, he won the contest in Active magazine – and the challenge was set.
“My mother was told a few years ago she had terminal cancer. On getting this news, my parents sold up and moved to Spain, as it had always been a dream of theirs to live in the sunshine,” says Jason, who runs the Dotty Hen vintage shop, where he upcycles and sells vintage furniture.
“Anyway, this year is the year the doctors gave her to live. To mark this and the fact that she is still fighting hard, I decided I’d cycle 2,000 miles to her home in Spain.”
Jason, who sets off on his journey on May 27, is raising money for Cancer Research in honour of his mum Doreen (63) and will be accompanied by close friend Tim Holland (40), who has agreed to cycle alongside him.
“We are both very unfit and new to cycling, but have been training hard over the last eight months or so,” added Jason, who is married to Sarah and is dad to Noah (6).
“I’ve joined Baston Cycling Club and have been going out with them on Sundays. We hope to complete the journey in less than 20 days – averaging around 100 miles a day.
“I’ve never done anything like this before and initially wanted to raise around £1,000, but we’ve already got just under £3,000 between us... now we’re just trying to raise as much as we can.
“We have had some fantastic support from many local people and companies. TC Harrison Ford has sponsored our cycling jerseys, the Co-op and Howdens have supported us too. It’s just amazing. We’re as ready as we can be now and looking forward to the challenge itself.”
• Jason has set up a Facebook page called @Ridespain, where people can leave messages of support and follow his progress while donations can be made at www.just giving.com/fundraising/ Jason-Skinner2016
• Let us know of your charity efforts. Email jeremy.ransome@iliffe publishing.co.uk