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‘It’s going to be a tough challenge’: Dundee cyclist to travel Land’s End to John o’ Groats for children’s charity

David James will be cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for the Archie Foundation.
David James will be cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for the Archie Foundation.

A Dundee student is planning to get back on the saddle to raise money for a Tayside children’s charity by cycling from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.

David James, 40, will take on the ambitious trek in August and plans to livestream the entire journey, which is expected to last 12 days.

He has set up a JustGiving page, where he hopes to raise cash for the Archie Foundation, who support sick children in hospital.

David, originally from the west coast of Scotland, is returning to cycling after breaking his right shin when he fell off his bike two years ago.

After largely steering clear of bikes since then, David will adopt a tough training regime to get ready. He plans on cycling from Whitfield to St Andrews and back again every second day.

The Abertay University student, who studies an access course and hopes to one day partake in the ethical hacking course, got the idea through his studies.

He said: “Part of the course had us arrange a charitable challenge so I was looking at things for that. In the end we couldn’t do them because of coronavirus, but the idea of cycling from one end of the country to the other took hold in my mind.

“Stuff about the Archie Foundation just popped up while I was online one day and I saw the work they do and thought that would be a great place to donate to.”

For about two months prior to the accident he was cycling intensely, about 65 miles a day, to help with his mental health.

He added: “It did help a little bit. I would just start pedalling and pedalling, but then one day I fell over and shattered the bones in my right shin. It was really sore and I was screaming.

“I’ve not really been on a bike since then, but I am starting again to take this journey on.

“I would encourage anyone who could spare it to donate some cash for the Archie Foundation.”

David, who moved to Dundee in September last year, shelled out more than £1,000 for a new bike to take on the challenge so is hoping to raise at least £1,500 for the charity.

He said: “It’s going to be a tough challenge, that’s for sure.

“The distance isn’t going to be a challenge though. I think the worst thing will be the elevation and altitude.

“The hardest parts are going to be Cornwall and Devon, where there are really steep hills. Some people have said it’s worse than the Brecon Beacons.

“I’ll be eating about four or five times more than I normally do and drinking a lot of water to get through.”

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