AFTER pedalling the length of Britain a Holme Valley man is hopping back on his bike for a mission to Africa.
Earlier this month Holmbridge IT worker, Matthew Norton, successfully conquered the 874 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats, in a bid to raise £50,000 to build schools in Africa.
Matthew, 29, his brother Jonathan and friend Cleveland, raised more than £10,000 on the ride and within two days of returning were already itching for a new challenge.
He said: “The ride had been going on so long it felt very strange to not be doing it anymore.
“So I was starting to look at what to do next when somebody at work joked, ‘What’s next, Holmfirth to Africa?’
“I looked at a map and it was a straight line down, so that’s what we’re going to do.”
After five miles Cleveland went over the handlebars!
Matthew, also the UK director of the group Maasai Heritage Preservation Foundation, a US-based charity that aims to provide education and food for children in Kenya and Tanzania, said the British-based ride had gone well after a few early hiccups...
“We’d gone about five miles when Cleveland went over the handlebars!
“The police turned up and wanted him to go to hospital but he wouldn’t go.
“He could hardly walk the next day and then he crashed again, and the day after that - he fell three days running.
“We were also given some bad directions in Scotland and went up Glenshee which is only a few metres below Ben Nevis. We knew we’d gone wrong when we started seeing chair lifts for the ski-runs.
“But we’re all in absolute agreement that the last 10 miles were the hardest.
“You cycle 900 odd miles and two miles from home there’s a hill!”
The next challenge, 1,600 miles from Holmfirth to Morocco, is planned for early 2010 to give the team time to improve their fitness and plan the route.
CONTACT: Anyone wishing to donate to the sponsorship or for further information on the project can go online to www.cycleforafrica.co.uk/getinvolved.asp or call 01484-680580 and leave a message.