Local IT Manager swaps servers for the saddle to cycle 960 miles for charity, just 18 months after buying his first bike.
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) IT Operations Manager Nick Brailsford, plans to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End next month to raise money for mental health charity, Papyrus UK.
Nick, 42, from Wingerworth in Chesterfield started cycling in January 2018 after getting fed up of being stuck in traffic on his daily commute. He now cycles the 30-mile round journey to work in Sheffield, and it’s fair to say he’s got the cycling bug.
“When I started working in Sheffield, my commute by car would normally take around one hour and ten minutes each way, and lots of it would be sitting in traffic, which was starting to frustrate me. So, in January 2018, I bought a bike through my work’s cycle to work scheme,” Nick explained.
SYPTE’s Director of Customer Services, Tim Taylor said:
“At SYPTE, through our Active Travel campaign, we’re encouraging more people to make ‘Little Big Changes’ by ditching the car and choosing to make more journeys by public transport, foot or bike. Nick is a shining example of how making just a little change to your usual journey, you can make a big difference to your life. We’re really looking forward to supporting Nick’s challenge for this worthy cause, and we’ll be cheering him on back in South Yorkshire”.
With his cycling going from strength to strength, Nick decided to take on the extreme challenge of cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End in the space of just one week. Nick explained:
“Cycling has become a huge hobby too, and I wanted to use it to make a difference for a very worthy charity. So, as well as the personal challenge of cycling 960 miles, I’ve decided to take this on as an opportunity to raise money for PAPYRUS UK, a charity that works to prevent young suicide.
“Suicide is the biggest killer of people under the age of 35 in the UK, and I think it’s important to raise awareness that there is help out there – from fantastic charities, like PAPYRUS. I wasn’t aware of their work until my colleagues, Cassie and Matt Bell, set up a fundraising page in memory of their 15-year-old niece, Summer.
“PAPYRUS work tirelessly to provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person, through their helpline HOPELINEUK. They also engage communities and volunteers in suicide prevention projects and deliver training programmes to individuals and groups, so any money I raise will help them with these vital services”.
Nick will be setting off from John O’Groats on Saturday 8 June. He’ll spend around 12 hours a day in the saddle for a full week as he makes his way down the length of the country to Land’s End. He explains:
“The roads and routes don’t worry me at all, but I’m nervous about remembering to eat and drink to keep my strength up for such a long distance. I have been known to forget when I’m in the zone and I just focus on getting to the finish line. Of course, I’m feeling apprehensive about what I’m facing next month, but I can’t help but be excited too!”
More information on the benefits of active travel and how to get involved can be found at travelsouthyorkshire.com/activetravel