AN Aberystwyth delivery driver has raised more than £8,000 for a mid Wales woman by cycling the length of the UK.
22-year-old, Bradley Harris, who works as a delivery driver for Tesco, set off from Land’s End, Cornwall on August 13, and arrived at John o’ Groats, Scotland - the most northern point in mainland Britain - on 9 September.
Bradley set off on the journey - with a “comically” sized stuffed giraffe on the back of his bike - to raise money for Aberangell woman, Jenny Rowbory, who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a condition which means her neck can’t support the weight of her head.
Bradley raised over £8,000 towards the £750,000 “life-saving” surgery Jenny needs.
The journey was filled with highs and lows for Bradley and his giraffe.
He said the highlight of the trip happened on his way to Edinburgh.
In the town of Innerleithen to the south of Edinburgh, Bradley met a cyclist who would become his second companion along the journey.
Bradley said: “It was really nice to have the company, we trawled the miles across the hills but we made a good time out of it - chatting and relaxing at spots along the way.
“As I got into the city, there were loads of people waving, taking photos and all that sort of stuff. It was probably the best I felt across the whole mission, aside from reaching the end of course!
“I had really begun to up the amount of miles I covered each day, because I was starting to feel like less was in front of me than behind. I’d tackled some really difficult hills, and I felt fitter. I used to live in Edinburgh, so I also started to recognise places and the roads I travelled along, that made it dawn on me even more how far I’d come.”
When Bradley was in Scotland, he spent many nights ‘wild camping’ in rural spots in forests, alongside rivers and hills across the country.
Aside from losing his phone at the start of the journey,the main challenges came when he was cycling through the lake district and the ‘steep’ hills that came with it.
“I had a tough couple of days when I was around the lake district. Suddenly the hills got really steep. Before then, it had been very flat ground, and I was already shattered. It took me hours to do the same amount of distance I had been covering in an hour. I was only halfway through the overall journey so it was quite demoralising, but we got it done.
“Those were the worst days, I was really lucky in that sense. The weather was fantastic too, I barely saw a drop of rain.”
The vastness of the journey left Bradley with a ‘surreal’ feeling when he finished.
Jenny’s mum, Ann, has been following his journey since he set off, as well as plotting the places he ended each day at on a map to give regular updates of his progress.
Ann said: “Knowing he’s ended the journey has left me with a lot of emotions. I have a lot of respect for him staying his course, and a lot of envy at his stamina!
“He sent a lot of stunning pictures to me on his travels, it was like I was having a little holiday along with him!
“Everyone who helps gives us hope that the miracle of achieving this huge target might happen. With Bradley’s fundraising, we are getting nearly a third of the way to the target.”
You can find the family’s Gofundme page by typing ‘savejenny’ and Bradley’s page by searching ‘LEJOGforjenny’.