Matt vows to finish ride after injury
A CYCLIST undertaking a 1,200 mile fundraising challenge is determined to finish after having to break off with an injury.
Matthew Budd took on the tough GB Divide route from Land's End to John O'Groats, which meanders across the country to take on moors, hills and mountains, in late August.
But after battling through torrential rain and gales as he cycled through the worst Storm Francis could throw at him, Matt, from Mangotsfield, pulled a thigh muscle and had to pull out halfway through the challenge.
Matt took on the challenge to raise desperately-needed funds for Brain Tumour Support, the South Gloucestershire charity which has helped his friend Ben Watterson, a radiographer who works for the NHS in Wales, was diagnosed with a brain tumour seven years ago.
The charity, which provides help and advice to people with brain tumours and their families, has been hit by a drop in fundraising events following the coronavirus lockdown and in September announced it was having to let go of five staff and move to smaller offices to save money.
So far Matt's challenge has raised around £2,000 in pledges and donations, and he hopes to complete it when he has recovered and weather permits, either during October or next spring.
He said: "Unfortunately I had to pull out just after Bury, as I'd picked up a thigh injury on one of the last climbs out of Wales, on a day in which I covered approximately 100 miles over 13 hours, and despite resting it for a couple of days, it proved unshakeable.
"I was really disappointed to have had to pull out at that point, but got a huge amount out of the first part of the trip, not least managing to put up with the torrential rain and wind that blighted much of it!
"Bury is about the half way point, and the earlier sections are renowned for being the most challenging, so I'm looking forward to finishing it off, and very much hoping the weather will be kinder when I do."
Matt was touched by the support he received from strangers on the route, from filling water bottles and buying him pints in the pub to a couple who offered him a room for the night in their home when he arrived at a pub at 11pm on a rainy night, 20 miles away from home on the night he had intended to sleep in his own bed.
He said: "I was really astounded by the generosity people showed me throughout."