To recognise Cycle To Work Day this year we recently caught up with our very own Matthew, who cycles to work every day come rain or shine!
I’ve been cycling to work since 2012, I didn’t drive at the time so I would rely on lifts, but an office move prompted me to start cycling. From where I used to live near the Riverside Stadium, the journey took me 40 minutes each way!
I’m actually on my 5th bike now, some have died a death but others have unfortunately been stolen – I can laugh about it now. I had just paid off the final instalment on a cycle to work scheme, it was the end of the day and I went to collect my bike from outside to find it wasn’t there. The lads in the office would sometimes hide it in lifts and store cupboards so I thought nothing of it, I soon found out that wasn’t the case this time, it had actually been stolen!
Despite this, even when I passed my driving test in 2016 I carried on cycling to work. I enjoy it for fitness purposes and it wakes me up on a morning so I’m ready to start the day. I enjoy cycling so much that I also ride out every lunchtime to check out the local beauty spots, the Tees Barrage is a favourite of mine.
The Coast to Coast went really well. Starting on the Saturday morning and finishing on the Sunday afternoon, my total riding time was 5 hours each day – I really surprised myself. Despite gnarly hills I managed to stay on the bike the whole time, with only 6 stops over the 2 days.
Another funny story – I’ve had limited punctures in the 8 years I’ve been cycling, but I managed to get 1 each day of the ride! The gorgeous weather and second to none scenery made it all worth it though.
I decided to do the challenge after concerns with my son Henry’s health. We have had countless trips to the Great North Children’s Hospital at the RVI in Newcastle, and Henry has undergone multiple operations. MediCinema is a state-of-the-art cinema in the hospital and was an important part of Henry’s recovery process. Through the Coast to Coast I raised a total of £2,200 for these two amazing charities.
In September I’ll be completing a 50-mile bike ride for the Great North Air Ambulance, it will be my second time doing this challenge.
I definitely want to do the Coast to Coast again next year, I had such a good weekend and was proud to support the charities so I plan to do it again. I’m thinking of changing up the route next time, potentially Blackpool to Scarborough or Walney Island to Whitby.