Vicar returns after 1,000-mile cycle
A 75-YEAR-old vicar from Beccles has completed a gruelling 1,000-mile solo cycle ride for a charity close to his heart.Despite a run of bad weather Peter Langford crossed the finishing line at John o' Groats yesterday three weeks after leaving Land's End.
A 75-YEAR-old vicar from Beccles has completed a gruelling 1,000-mile solo cycle ride for a charity close to his heart.
Despite a run of bad weather Peter Langford crossed the finishing line at John o' Groats yesterday three weeks after leaving Land's End.
“I felt very, very supported and met some friendly people on the way,” he said.
He averaged 50 miles a day in the saddle, but kept his sessions on Sundays shorter to give himself a rest and to go to church.
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Mr Langford, who retired to the Beccles 10 years ago, set himself the challenge to raise money for maintenance work at an education centre which he set up with his late wife Sally in 1971. The Ringsfield Hall Trust Eco Study Centre gives youngsters and families from urban areas a taste of rural life.
He had already amassed £13,000 in sponsorship before he left, and is hoping the costs of the repair work, which could reach £18,000, can be met.
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Mr Langford said the most demanding part of the ride was the wind and the west country's switchback roads.
“I never regretted doing it but I couldn't have envisaged all those hills and how heavy the panniers were going to be,” he said. “Also it rained most days and when you are thoroughly wet and cold you can't appreciate anything.”
He even had a scary moment which could have prevented him from finishing.
He said: “I was just coming off the Severn Bridge when my bike started to keel over with the weight of the panniers. I fell off and banged my head on a metal post.”
But his helmet saved him from serious harm and he completed the course to be greeted in Scotland by his son - and a bottle of bubbly.
Mr Langford said he was looking forward heading back home to Suffolk by train tomorrow. So is he inspired to dream up another cycling challenge?
“It was pretty hard work,” he said. “I wouldn't do it again.”