South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) IT Operations Manager, Nick Brailsford, is cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End this week to raise money for mental health charity, PAPYRUS UK.
Nick, 42, from Wingerworth in Chesterfield, who only started cycling in January 2018 after getting fed up of being stuck in traffic on his daily commute, celebrated reaching the half way point on his challenge by heading back to Sheffield to catch up with his colleagues on Tuesday.
Nick said: “Parts of my journey so far have been harder than expected but the adrenalin has kept me going. Day three was really tough on the knees with lots of big climbs – every peddle stroke made me cry. By the time I’d reached the top, I was shattered and didn’t think I could go any further, despite still having three hours left to go for the day. A quick phone call from my brother gave me the boost I needed and helped me clock up the final miles.
“Paying a visit back to Sheffield to celebrate reaching the half way point really lifted my spirits too and it was brilliant to catch up with my work friends back in the office – and get out of the rain for an hour or so! It was great to see all my colleagues braving the weather to give me a warm welcome – it’s just what I needed to get me motivated for the next leg of the journey.
“I’m looking forward to completing this challenge, but I’m already thinking what I can do next. I’ve spent a lot of time on my bike, so I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve already.”
SYPTE’s Director of Customer Services, Tim Taylor, said: “At SYPTE, through our Active Travel campaign, we’re encouraging more people to make ‘Little Big Changes’ by ditching the car and choosing to make more journeys by public transport, foot or bike. Nick is a shining example of how making just a little change to your usual journey, can make a big difference to your life.”
Nick is taking on the extreme challenge to raise money for PAPYRUS UK, a charity that works to prevent young suicide. He explains: “PAPYRUS work tirelessly to provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person, through their helpline HOPELINEUK. They also engage communities and volunteers in suicide prevention projects and deliver training programmes to individuals and groups, so any money I raise will help them with these vital services.”
More information on the benefits of active travel and how to get involved can be found at travelsouthyorkshire.com/activetravel. You can show your support for Nick by donating to his fundraising page. You can also find out more about PAPYRUS UK at papyrus-uk.org/.