Alex Wilson, a former Youth Commonwealth Games cyclist, is attempting the famous Deloitte Ride Across Britain in September to raise money for Guernsey Mind.

Alex is an experienced cyclist and has represented Guernsey at many races, but this long-distance, nine-day endurance ride is a new challenge for him.

The fundraising ride, which starts on Saturday 9th September, will see hundreds of cyclists pedal 969 miles from Cornwall’s most southwesterly point to the north east tip of Scotland

This ‘end to end’ ride is known as one of the UK’s toughest cycle challenges. During the first few days, cyclists face an incline of 15,000ft and the longest single day is a gruelling 126 miles.

Deloitte in Guernsey has been a big supporter of the event during the last five years, and approximately £35,000 has been raised to date for various charities.

This year’s fundraising will benefit Guernsey Mind. Deloitte is working with Mind in the Channel Islands to support the charity’s vision of a society that has a positive attitude towards mental wellbeing. The business services firm has recently backed Mind’s research project and has made a three-year commitment to the mental health charity.

After competing in the 2011 Youth Commonwealth Games, Mr Wilson had to stop cycling competitively in 2014 due to a knee injury, and he admits that the long ride could cause him problems. ‘I have been putting in some serious miles since January, and my experience as a competitive cyclist has helped me approach training in the right way, but it’s hard to know how your body will respond to back-to-back days in the saddle,’ comments Alex, who is a manager at Deloitte.

The ride takes cyclists through 23 different counties; over the west country hills, through the Cheddar Gorge, across the Severn Bridge and into the Forest of Dean. Shap Fell, the Scottish highlands and the Strathnaver Valley are just a few scenic highlights of the ride and cyclists will tackle daily distances of over 100 miles.

Alex recently rode up the Val des Terres 31 times as part of his training. To give his fundraising a boost, he was challenged to beat a colleague’s previous Val des Terres total and to wear a chicken outfit.

He has already raised over £1,300.00 and hopes that total will rise during the week of the ride. ‘Raising over £1,000.00 for charity was on my bucket list and I am very proud to have exceeded that target. The weather was dreadful last Sunday, but I am expecting rain during the week of the ride, and that’s all part of the challenge,’ he said.  

Since its inception in 2010, Deloitte Ride Across Britain cyclists have raised over 1.8 million pounds for the British Paralympic Association, clocking up over 2,500,000 fundraising miles that have helped disabled athletes succeed at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.