Optician cycles more than 2,800 miles for charity

Optician cycles more than 2,800 miles for charity

Justin Burns

Optician cycles more than 2,800 miles for charity

An optician pedalled 2,869 miles along the world's longest off-road cycling route to raise money for a Windsor hospice and spectacle appeal.

Kerrin Walker, of Arthur Road, rode for four weeks, cycling around 15 to 22 hours a day, from Banff in Canada to New Mexico, between June 8 and July 5.

The 37-year-old took part in the Tour Divide self-supported mountain bike challenge with friend Richard Ede, 37, of Dorset, who only managed the first week.

They raised more than £2,600 to be split between Thames Hospicecare in Hatch Lane and Vision Aid Overseas.

Kerrin said: "It was the hardest thing I have ever attempted and it was absolutely gruelling, but an amazing adventure.

"There is absolutely no way I am going back to do that again and I massively underestimated the challenge."

He cycled through the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the US states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

The route covered the Rocky Mountains from the north to the south, and climbed a total of 200,000 vertical metres.

The franchise owner of Vision Express in King Edward Court said much of it was at high altitude, and he rode in everything from snow to 40-degree heat.

"The longest time I spent on the bike was 36 hours when I just put a head torch on and just kept going," he said.

"There were a couple of diversions due to forest fires and I ended up doing more than 100 miles more than the original route."

But he said it was all worthwhile as the scenery was 'amazing'.

Kerrin was one of only 75 of the 150 intrepid cyclists taking part who completed the entire route, which finished on the US border with Mexico.

His adventure was his last before marrying fiancée Emma Brougham, 30, on September 13.

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