Schoolboy's cycling challenge raises grand total

A nine-year-old boy who lives near Stannington cycled 140 miles in three days to visit his grandparents in Edinburgh in aid of an animal welfare charity.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:59 pm
Lewis Bailie pictured during his three-day bike ride for charity.

Lewis Bailie – who was accompanied by his dad, Mark – had mentioned doing such a challenge for a little while and with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the family agreed to give it a go in the final few days of the summer holidays.

An inspiration for the adventure was the Flying Fergus children’s books by cycling Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy.

The RSPCA Newcastle and North Northumberland Branch was chosen to receive the funds raised due to Lewis’ love of animals. He even has his own pet chickens at home. Just over £1,000 has been raised so far.

Mark said: “We both really enjoyed the experience and the family are very proud of what Lewis has achieved.

“Even though some of the hills were longer and steeper than he was used to, he relished the challenge.

“Day one (home to Coldstream) was the toughest as we had to deal with north winds, some rain and a few tricky potholes. Day two (Coldstream to Gifford) involved a a big climb and descent at Cranshaws and day three (Gifford to the Balerno area of Edinburgh) was mostly downhill, although there were some gravel paths to negotiate.

“Raising more than £1,000 has surpassed his and everyone else’s expectations. We’re grateful to family and friends for their support and the publicity we got in Edinburgh led to further donations.”

The duo were joined at the grandparents’ house by Lewis’ mother Christine, seven-year-old sister Heather and cousins.

Lewis has been riding a bike since the age of four and has been in a cycle club, Tyneside Vagabonds, since the age of six. Mark said the club has been fantastic in helping his son to make progress and gain confidence with his bike skills.

He added: “Lewis has now started at Chantry Middle School in Morpeth, but his previous school (Stannington First School) were very supportive and promoted cycling in a big way.”