Wesley Hamnett, 37, rode more than 200 miles for the journey – which took him more than 32 hours from start to fin-ish – in the hope he’d be able to raise funds for various charities after he lost his granddad to canc-er last year.
Although he’d originally planned to cycle 1,250 miles from Russia to his home in Wythenshawe, Manchester, with the dad-of-two having even purchased his flight tickets, current restri-ctions in place regarding the pan*emic meant he had to change routes.
Wesley quickly decided that if he was going to have to reduce his mileage in such a significant way, he was going to make it harder for himself by introducing a new obstacle: his eight-year-old daughter’s bike.
‘The bike had a special significance to me as it’s the one my two daughters learned how to cycle on,’ he explained.‘The bike was significant to me, to my children, and hopefully it will be to anyone who has joined us on this journey.’
So on Wednesday morning, September 16, Wesley got the train to Glasgow and set off on his pink bike at around 11am to raise money for Macmillan Canc-er Support, Christie Charitable Fund, British Heart Foundation and Wythenshawe Hospitals MFT Charity.
Admitting he ‘wasn’t sure if [he] was going to make it’, especially considering he had to change the bike’s tyres – which were just 12 inches wide – eight times, Wesley said he was determined to find out ‘one way or another, even if it was absolutely me-ntal’.
And that’s exactly what he did, arriving home on Monday night, September 21, after a gru-eling six-day journey that saw him riding up peaks as high as 1,350 feet – something he said the bike ‘wasn’t built for’. ‘I was cycling up this massive hill and I just thought this bike wasn’t built for this,’ he explained. ‘But I kept pu-shing because any time there’s an uphill climb, there must be a downhill climb.’
Describing himself as feeling like ‘a little kid’ when he eventually got to the downhill part of the Shap Summit in Cumbria, Wesley said he ‘couldn’t stop if [he] tried’, adding, ‘It was sc-ary, but amazingly fun.’ Eventually, the father-of-two made it home and was welcomed by his daughters, 10-year-old Evie Hamnett and eight-year-old Tehya Baron, who ru-shed over to give him a hug as soon as he crossed the fin-ish line.
‘I feel so overwhelmed but it’s been a real blessing,’ Wesley said. ‘I ba-rely made it – I felt like I was in Formula 1, I had to change my tires eight times. I felt like I was going to d!e during certain str-etches, but it was all worth it.’ He continued: My last grandad passed away of canc-er last year after he got it for the second time. It’s something that really affe-cted me and I knew I wanted to do something as a tribute.
I wanted to raise funds for all the charities that have done incredible work and helped my family and friends throughout the years. It evolved from that into something a little bit crazy. We’ve gotten so much incredible support on this journey and none of it would have been possible without the bike. It’s the most value for money I’ve ever gotten – the best £100 I’ll spend in my life.
Wes cycled all the way from Glasgow to Manchester on his daughter's bike! 🚴
He wanted to help raise money for local cancer charities.@WezHamnett @TheChristie pic.twitter.com/HqizSNdAKr
— BBC North West (@BBCNWT) September 22, 2020
So far, Wesley has raised just over £5,000, and still hopes to make the tr-ek from Russia to Manchester next spring if possible. ‘I want to thank everyone who has donated,’ he added. ‘They’ve been absolutely amazing.’ What an incredible achievement.
This Article First Published On UNILAD