A 34-year-old carpenter from Crawley is cycling 1,200 miles to raise money for Sarcoma UK, a bone and soft tissue cancer charity.
James Chevalier is cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats, on a route that will cover 1,200 miles and is entirely off road.
He hopes to achieve 100 miles a day, and is cycling in memory of his friend Mark Fradgley, who died from sarcoma in March 2019, 10 years after being diagnosed.
James, who now lives in Dorking, said: “I was obviously quite close to my friend and it’s a sad thing to see someone go through.
“This trip is something he wanted to do, It’s a bit of a self contained adventure and I’m looking forward to clearing my mind and raising awareness for the charity.
“I’m a bag of mixed emotions. I’m massively looking forward to it but it’s nerve wracking, you just hope that you’ve trained and eaten well enough.
“I just feel like this is the end of the journey for him, to show that doing something like this doesn’t have to be the end for people fighting their own cancer battles.
“Get out there, have fun and explore.”
James had told Mark he would undertake the journey in August, and they frequently took trips together after Mark’s diagnosis.
They rode from London to Paris with six others on tandems, and London to Amsterdam on single gear bikes in under 72 hours for St Raphael’s hospice in Cheam, which cared for James’ grandfather.
On James’ fundraising page, he said: “He put his troubles to the side to help me in tough times.
“Mark, I’m doing this for you brother. Your love for bikes and mountain biking has led me to this challenge to raise money & awareness for Sarcoma UK.”
James will be carrying all of his own kit, including food, water, clothes, a tent, and cooking equipment.
He said how Mark dreamt of doing a similar thing, and was the one who got him interested in it, so he feels it’s the perfect thing to do to thank him.
The aim is to complete the route in 12 days, after leaving on Saturday (September 7), and he will follow Sustrans cycle routes.
A support vehicle will drive up to John O’Groats with his parents in, who will ‘never be more than a day away’.
This is in case of emergencies, breakdowns, or any incidents or crashes, and to meet up with to get fresh food and water, and moral support.
To donate to the fundraiser, click here.