Explaining what inspired him to do the challenge, Andy said:
“I had a serious accident four years ago, after being knocked off my bike at high speed. I was told I would never be able to cycle again, but thanks to medical support I have built my fitness back up. I love a challenge and this one is the toughest I’ve done. It’s not just the distance it’s the cumulative effect of the draining hills climbs each day.
“I also wanted to do something positive after the murder of Sarah Everard. Oasis Community Housing has a long track record of supporting the most vulnerable women in our communities and so raising funds for them seems to be a fitting tribute to Sarah and her family.”
Andy, who has been out training come rain or shine, continued: “I hope the sponsorship I’ve raising will make a small improvement to the lives of those for whom Oasis Community Housing care for.”
The 100 Climbs Challenge was made famous by cycling enthusiastic Simon Warren’s 2010 book, where he charted the 100 greatest cycling climbs in Britain. Since then cyclists around the world have taken on the gruelling challenge.
Andy is determined to complete it within just 31 days. That’s 5,300km across the British Isles covering its steepest gradients including the Guinness World Records’ world’s steepest hill climb – Ffordd Penllech in Wales pitched at a 40% gradient.
Andy managed to raise over £15,000 and completed the cycle challenge despite a few set backs on the way.
Andy suffered terrible weather despite setting off in the middle of summer with cold winds and a few days of heavy rain, and even thunder and lightening- but in the full spectrum of a British summer also had to cope with a 7 day heatwave. His riding times often started at 5am and finished at 8pm. He also battled bunions and mechanical troubles to make it to the finish line in the Lakes with a huge smile.
The funds will go towards Oasis Community Housing’s work supporting almost 2,000 across the North East and south London, which includes drop-ins, supported accommodation for care leavers and other young people and support groups for women who have experienced domestic abuse.
The charity’s Chief Executive David Smith will be joined Andy for part of the cycle challenge, he said: “The 80 miles I cycled with Andy was one of the most physically challenging feats I’ve ever been involved in.
“That it doesn’t even match up to what Andy cycled that day, let alone that month, tells you everything you need to know about what a legend he is and how much we appreciate him.”
To find out more about our challenge events contact fundraising@oasiscommunityhousing or head to our events page.