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Cyclist to ride 1,800 miles for heroes
WHEN Josh Parsons jumps on his bike he usually just goes where the wind takes him.
But from today he will be focused on his journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats and back – 1,800 miles in just seven days.
The 20-year-old of Thompson Drive, Caversfield, Bicester, plans to cycle on his bike named Isabelle, about 250 miles a day, to reach his target.
He is using the challenge to raise cash for soldiers’ charity Help For Heroes, and has set a target of £3,000, so far he has raised £580.
Former Bicester Community College student Mr Parsons, who works as a catering assistant at Oxford homeless shelter Simon House, in Paradise Street, said: “I’m obsessed with cycling.
“It probably started when I was 11 when I first got my hands on a bike. I just got on, rode through fields and would ride for 10 miles and then back.
“I hate it when my bike’s off the road and I have to get the bus.”
Mr Parsons already cycles 40 miles a day to and from work, and thinks nothing of hopping on his bike and riding to Wales or Cambridge for the day. He has also ridden to Glasgow and back home via Edinburgh.
He said: “I just got bored. So I thought this time I might as well do it for a good cause, Help for Heroes.
“Everyone says I’m crazy for riding and doing this, but look what the soldiers are doing, they are the heroes, I’m just riding a bike.”
Most people taking on the Lands End to John O’Groats challenge cycle one way, but Mr Parsons said he decided to do the return journey as well because as a child his mum would always say if he went out on his bike he had to get himself home.
Mr Parsons said: “For me I don’t feel like I have completed the ride if I don’t ride back.”
During his trip he will not stay in a tent or hotels and will not carry a sleeping bag – instead he will make shelters for himself.
He reckons the toughest part of the ride will be the headwinds and hills.
Mr Parsons said: “I’m not going to carry a tent, I’m literally going to be sleeping two to three hours a day. “I’ll just make myself a little shelter.
“I plan to ride more through the night then sleep more in the day. I want to go as fast as I can – I have got warm clothes.
“For the first 24 hours I will be in the saddle for 24 hours because I want to get ahead.
“It will be physically and mentally draining, but I’m 100 per cent positive I can do it.”
Anyone who wants to sponsor him should go to bmycharity.com and then do a search on Josh’s name.