Father’s epic ride for cause close to heart

Graham Holder reaches his destination - John O'Groats - after around 940 miles in the saddle. (S)
Graham Holder reaches his destination - John O'Groats - after around 940 miles in the saddle. (S)

A PANEL beater from Bardsey has cycled the length of the country to raise money for the Meningitis Trust.

Graham Holder, who works in Wetherby, pedalled the 940 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall to John O’Groats in Scotland in 13 days and has raised more than £3,000 in pledges from sponsors.

“It went better than I thought it would. I had all sorts of visions of various troubles but all-in-all it was quite enjoyable,” said the 49-year-old father-of-two who completed his journey on Thursday last week.

Mr Holder said it had been a personal ambition to cycle the length of the UK and he chose the Meningitis Trust because it was a cause close to his heart.

“My son contracted pneumococcal meningitis at the age of three months,” said Mr Holder about Christopher – better known as CJ – who is now 13-years-old and attends Wetherby High School.

During his bike ride Mr Holder was supported by his friend Paul Grayson, also from Bardsey, whose employer – heating boiler manufacturer and supplier Ferolli – provided him with a van and fuel to act as a back-up vehicle.

Mr Holder also had moral support from friends who joined him for parts of the journey. Georgia Kelly, from Bardsey, cycled from Sheffield to Edinburgh with him, and Jackie Beddard from Bardsey and Steve Broadbent, from Bramley in Leeds, cycled from Leeds to Edinburgh.

“I’d like to give a big thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the trip,” said Mr Holder, who indicated many fellow members of Bardsey Sports Club had sponsored his challenge.

Sponsors can be made at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GrahamHolder1