Pocklington man Bernard Cleaver, who works as a Farm Trader for Frontier Agriculture at Cranswick, is planning an exhausting 400 mile, London to Edinburgh cycle ride to raise cash for male cancer charity, Orchid Cancer.
Bernard is going to complete the challenge in just 37 hours, on 17th and 18th June. He says: 'I am riding with a friend and we will take it in two hour turns to ride as fast as we can up the country. We don't intend to stop, so one of us will always be in the saddle. This will be quite a challenge of both mental and physical endurance. Even though both of us have completed various cycling events in the past - including Land's End to John O'Groats, Highlands Coast-to-Coast and the UK Iron-Man - we both feel that this is going to be very tough indeed!'
Bernard is receiving tremendous support, with sponsorship from Frontier and many farmers in the Driffield area who are his customers. Bernard explains: '2011 is going to be a very busy year for me and the farmers I trade with because Frontier has won the contract to supply wheat for the new Vivergo bioethanol plant at Saltend. When this opens in the summer, it will take 1.1 million tonnes of wheat per year from the surrounding regions. It's going to make a huge difference for Yorkshire farmers and much of my time is currently spent helping them to get on board and benefit though our Humber Gold wheat club.
'Despite it being such a busy year, I still wanted to raise money on behalf of men's specific cancers (testicular/prostate) with a charity organisation called Orchid, based at St. Bart's Hospital, London. Indirectly, men's cancer has touched my life and of course as a cyclist I feel inspired by the achievements of Lance Armstrong who battled testicular cancer before going on to win seven Tour de France competitions.'
Bernard's training schedule alone would leave most people gasping for breath! As part of his preparations, he held a 24hr, non-stop, spin bike session at Francis Scaife Sports Centre. This started at 10am on Wednesday 2nd February 2011 and finished at 10am on Thursday 3rd February 2011. Bernard says 'We planned this event to help with fundraising, raise awareness for the main London-Edinburgh ride, and at the same time help our fitness training. The two of us rode for the whole 24 hour period and invited anyone using the gym to join us for a spin session, and make a donation to Orchid. From this pre-event we managed to raise over £1000. It's really whetted our appetite and we're both looking forward to getting in the saddle this June.'
To support Bernard and pledge a donation visit www.justgiving.com/pocklingtoncycle