By Susan Reid
World-record holding cyclist Ben Wood of Cross Hills has completed another gruelling cycling challenge – riding just over the equivalent height of Mount Everest in 24 hours and succeeding in raising over £6,000 for Candlelighters as a tribute to his best friend’s son who is being treated for leukaemia at Leeds General Infirmary.
Ben, who is a mechanic and workshop manager at All Terrain Cycles in Saltaire as well as being a member of the store’s road race team, was sponsored by the cycling retailer in his ‘Rory Everest Ride’. He took on the infamous Brunthwaite Lane in Silsden, otherwise known as ‘Murdermile’, riding up and down it 60 times or completing a 30’259ft climb last Saturday (19th November). He started his epic feat in the dark just after 4.00am, and completed it 19 exhausting hours later despite snow and sleet!
Ben was supported by fellow member of extreme cycling team Ultra6 Andy North who ran up Murdermile 20 times, or 40 miles, to see how many times he could run up Everest in a 24 hour period.
All of the money raised by the challenge will be donated to Candlelighters, the children’s charity that provides practical and emotional support to children fighting cancer in Yorkshire and to their families.
Ben explains: “Despite the discomfort, I really enjoy these endurance challenges – there’s something enormously satisfying about pushing yourself to your physical limits. It was the toughest of days, but also the most rewarding and I had phenomenal support on the day from mountain bikers, road cyclists, mums with prams, people running or just walking their dogs – there was only one rep out of the 60 when I rode alone!
“The fact that I embarked on this feat to raise funds for Candlelighters made me even more determined to succeed – there was never any doubt that I was going to finish, regardless of the appalling weather conditions. My best friend’s 18 month old son, Rory, has a rare form of leukaemia and it made me realise what a fantastic job Candlelighters does in supporting families with children undergoing treatment.
“Thanks to all those hardy cyclists who braved the elements to join me for a rep or two in the snow, sleet and rain as well as to All Terrain Cycles for their ongoing support and to everyone who has donated on our JustGiving page.”
To make a donation, visit the Rory Everest Ride in aid of Candlelighters on JustGiving.
Tony Booth, managing director of All Terrain Cycles which has superstores in Wetherby and in Saltaire, near Bradford, comments: “After his 15 years working for All Terrain, I can always depend on Ben to undertake the most awe-inspiring challenges in aid of really worthwhile causes. Congratulations to Ben for taking on yet another world’s first, cycling 60 miles of climbing and 60 miles of descending in 24 hours, and also for raising much-needed funds for such a fantastic local charity.”