Stephen with wife and sons

Riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats for Dad

MS Superstar Stephen conquered the UK’s most famous cycling route last year, taking part in Deloitte’s Ride Across Britain.

9 days. 969 miles. Could it be you in 2018? Stephen explains what to expect.

Supporting the MS Society

My dad has lived with MS for over 30 years. He’s my hero and I’ve tried all my life to make him proud and live my life as he does – he never moans about his condition and just gets on with life as best he can.

I set myself a lifetime goal to raise £1 million for MS, and I keep chipping away at the target by taking part in events like the Great North Run and the London Marathon. Including Ride Across Britain, I’ve raised over £20,000 so far!

Choosing Ride Across Britain

I’ve travelled to lots of amazing places, including Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Russia and India, but I’ve not travelled much in the UK. So cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats was a great opportunity, not only to continue to raise money and awareness of MS, but also to get fit and see more of our amazing country.

Ride Across Britain appealed because it’s really well organised – the organisers have been doing it for years. There are amazing volunteers and support on the ride with things like safety cars, chaperone cyclists, bag handlers and physios.

Tackling my fundraising challenge

I’m very lucky to have some amazing friends and family who sponsor me each time I ask. Within minutes of setting up my fundraising page, some of my closest friends donated with comments that brought me to tears – “Never stop asking, Stevo”. They all appreciate how my dad looked after me and our close friends when we were growing up.

My work advertised the challenge on the intranet, which helped bring in a lot too.

But my biggest success was posting videos on Facebook each day during the challenge. This really brought people close to the event – they could actually see the challenge I was putting myself through.

My Ride Across Britain highlights

  • Finishing! And seeing my wife waiting at the finish line.
  • My two boys, wife and mother-in-law surprising me during the ride, at Middlewich football club.
  • The last two days cycling in Scotland – the scenery was amazing.

My top tips

  • Prepare for all weathers – it is the UK after all!
  • Train as much as you can.
  • Take it at your own pace. Ride Across Britain caters for all levels of ability, so you can fly off or take in the scenery as you cycle.
  • Get your camera ready . Not only for the scenery, but to share your experience on social media and encourage extra sponsorship.