After losing his last remaining grandparent to cancer last year, Welsey Hamnett of Wythenshawe, England wanted to do something to honor them while helping others at the same time.
He started planning a 1,250-mile cycling trip from his hometown to Russia, asking for donations in a GoFundMe campaign that would benefit four local charities. He’d already booked his tickets and was eager to hit the road in September when COVID-19 hit.
Wesley suddenly found himself with 19 days off of work and a lot of charitable donations yet to be made, so he came up with a second plan that could be orchestrated within the United Kingdom. He proposed a bike ride from Glasgow, Scotland to his hometown of Wythenshawe, just south of Manchester, England.
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To keep things interesting, Wesley threw in a twist: if he got enough donations he’d do the entire 220-mile journey on the little pink bike both of his daughters had learned to ride on.
“I had done all my mapping and checked all the hotels but then the pandemic hit and I had to cancel my trip,” he explained. “I thought it was probably a good thing because I shouldn’t have really been travelling during coronavirus, but I still wanted to do something.”
Just one day before he was due to start his journey Wesley’s fundraiser hit it’s goal. He put aside his regular road bike and grabbed the pink bike for the trip of a lifetime!
“I was questioning myself and thinking, can I even do it on that bike? I woke up at 4am for the train and just thought, I can do this.”
For the next 6 days, Wesley rode the tiny bike about 38 miles per day over often-steep, mountainous roads. He had to stop to repair multiple flat tires along the way because he weighs a lot more than the bike could normally stand. Thankfully, any discomfort or embarrassment he felt was softened by the fact that he raised close to £8,400 (around $10,900 USD) for Acmillan, The Christie Hospital, The British Heart Foundation, and Wythenshawe Hospital.
“I am still planning to do my trip to Russia next year but I’m not sure I’ll be ever able to top this,” said the cyclist after finishing his mission.
It takes a strong man to ride a little girls’ bike for hundreds of miles for charity. Way to roll with the punches, Wesley!
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