Hospice fund-raising is no easy ride for optometrist

John Davidson.'Picture Stephen McCurry
John Davidson.'Picture Stephen McCurry

An optometrist has raised thousands of pounds for charity after setting his sights on a gruelling cycling challenge.

John Davidson, of Morpeth, has certainly shown his pedal power, raising more than £5,350 for St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth in a 140-mile Coast to Coast bike ride.

The director, who works at Querido and Davidson Opticians in Heaton, rode in memory of a colleague who received end-of-life care at St Oswald’s.

And after completing the route from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Tynemouth over two days 20 years ago, he was keen to ramp up the challenge and cut the time in half.

He set off at 3am on Sunday, June 22 and spent nine hours in the saddle before reaching his destination.

He said: “I loved it. It was hard for me on the uphill stretches, but I rode at my own pace throughout and didn’t pressure myself to ride with the faster riders, just to stay strong and finish.

“I was delighted when I reached the finish line.”

Mr Davidson trained through all weathers leading up to the challenge, losing 14lb in weight in the process.

However, his regime was interrupted when his 22-month-old son Felix, who has rare CFC Syndrome and Duodenal Haematoma, was taken into hospital. It meant a four-week break from training, but Mr Davidson took a Turbo Trainer along on hospital visits to squeeze in as much preparation as possible as he was determined to complete the sponsored ride.

He said: “I am immensely proud to be associated with St Oswald’s. The charity has huge resonance with my friends, family and clients at work.

“Querido and Davidson works hard to raise awareness and funds for St Oswald’s as a much-loved member of staff passed away there five years ago and her end-of-life care made a huge difference to her and her family. I’d tell others thinking of doing something for St Oswald’s to take a tour of the hospice and see how much love and support is available. It’s a hugely motivating experience that drives you on to finish your challenge.”

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/john-r-davidson