A STIRLING student embarked on a journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End, cycling the length of the UK to raise money for a charity supporting people suffering from brain tumours, and supports research into battling tumours.
Josh Wood, 23, a second-year accounting student’s thousand-mile journey has raised over £12,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity.
Wood embarked on the journey after seeing his Uncle Chris undergo treatment for a brain tumour and was inspired by his Auntie Jan’s resolve in a difficult time for the family, just after the passing of his nan.
“Speaking to Jan, you would have no idea that she had just lost her mum and that her husband was undergoing this treatment. The courage and selflessness she portrayed was unbelievable,” Wood said.
Remembering how his nan’s life was dedicated to her family, he decided to honour her memory by challenging himself with the cycle.
Wood’s nine-day journey saw him travel a total of 1012 miles and cycle eight hours every day. He recalled some of the toughest moments of his endeavour.
“The second and seventh days were definitely the hardest. The second day saw me cycling through the Cairngorms from Dingwall to Pitlochry in some of the most atrocious summer weather I’ve ever experienced. Close to freezing point, torrential rain and over 40mph winds at the Drumochter Pass.
“The seventh day was the longest, I cycled 135 miles from Leebotwood in Shropshire to Cheddar,” he said.
Cycling through South Wales, he endured the worst conditions in the country: narrow roads, potholes, mud, gravel, 10ft hedgerows, blind corners, floods, ridiculously steep sharp hills and fallen trees blocking the whole road.
“It was like traversing through a maze filled with booby traps.”
Although Wood recalled some of the more pleasant highlights of his trip.
“Some highlights of the journey include riding through the borders on a calm summer evening, reaching the summit of the Kirkstone Pass and admiring the views, even though it was raining.
“Flying down Cheddar Gorge at 9:30PM when no one was about, laughing uncontrollably at dinner with my parents about escaping the hell hole that was South Wales, and having the sun come out in the last 50 miles, reaching Land’s End with beautiful blue skies.”
Sport President Gill Thayne congratulated Wood on the cycle,
“What a fantastic achievement for Josh, the money he has raised for The Brain Tumour Charity is outstanding. The awareness that has been brought to the charity also is very notable. I love the fact he has used physical activity to help him achieve all of this success. All I can do is congratulate him”
Wood said he was “totally overwhelmed” by the amount of support he received from his hometown community on Islay, and that he was touched by their kindness and generosity.