Pedal to the metal for good causes

Ken Ions, of Morpeth, who is doing a charity cycling challenge from Land's End to John O'Groats over nine days.
Ken Ions, of Morpeth, who is doing a charity cycling challenge from Land's End to John O'Groats over nine days.
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A MORPETH man is getting on his bike for an epic journey to raise money for two charities.

The nine-day cycling challenge from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in the Scottish Highlands – the distance between the places is the longest between two points on the British mainland – is being taken on by Ken Ions.

Starting on Saturday, he is aiming to ride for about 100 miles each day so he can arrive at the finish on time.

Mr Ions, who is supporting Childline and St Oswald’s Hospice, explained that his brother-in-law Paul Hughes came up with the idea, but was not sure if he wanted to do the challenge himself.

He asked friends and family if they would like to give it a go and the 41-year-old High Stanners resident stepped forward. Mr Ions is a keen cyclist and often rides to and from work in Newcastle – a 35-mile round trip.

“Although I’m a bit anxious, I’m definitely looking forward to taking on the challenge as it will be a fantastic experience,” he said.

“I think the best part will be the last couple of days in northern Scotland. There will be less navigation to do and I can enjoy the beautiful scenery at Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Loch Ness.

“Training has gone well. Riding 200 miles over to Cockermouth and back to Morpeth recently gave me a valuable insight into the mental stamina I’m going to need.”

Mr Ions’ dad Peter will be driving the support car for the first half of the ride and his wife Ali will be driving it for the rest of his journey.

Mr Hughes is a director at ParentMail, a company that enables educational organisations to communicate with and collect payments from parents electronically. People can keep up-to-date with the ride and make a donation to Childline online at www.parentmailchallenge.co.uk

Donations to St Oswald’s Hospice can be made at the shop in Bridge Street or at www.stoswaldsuk.org