A Sustrans Bike-It officer in Brighton & Hove plans to ride 365 miles this weekend, one for each day of the year as part of an initiative to get local kids cycling– and he’s challenging them to match him mile-for-mile. In the process, he’s hoping to set a new 48-hour MTB world record.
Last year, Ben Sherratt launched BikeStock, a mountain bike event for kids held in Stanmer Park, Brighton. He cycled more than 200 miles in 24 hours, and threw the gauntlet down to youngsters to rack up more miles, combined, than he managed – which they duly did once all their laps of the one-mile, woodland circuit were totted up.
So why 365 miles? Well, in his role with the sustainable transport charity, Sharratt has been visiting local schools and urging children to ride their bikes each day of the year.
He’s already embarked on his 48-hour challenge, starting at 3pm this afternoon at Stanmer Park and he aims to pedal all the way through until the same time on Saturday afternoon.
For the final four hours, starting at 11am on Saturday morning, he’ll be joined by the youngsters hoping to amass enough miles between them to beat his total. It will be a mass start, so get there from 10am to make sure you don't miss it.
It’s not just children that are encouraged to go along. Adults too are welcome to help give Ben encouragement as well as some company in his endeavour, particularly during the overnight stints – and even if you’re not local, spread the word to let others know.
He’s undertaking the challenge partly to encourage kids to get riding, but also to raise money for Sustrans and the East Sussex Association for the Blind, with donations being accepted through his page on Virgin Money Giving.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.