Youth Panel Member, James, raises money for ASC!

On Saturday the 14th of October I set out at the crack of dawn for a 12 hour bike ride, where I would aim to ride 150 miles to raise money for ASC.

I started to notice that I had a stammer from the age of 12, where I realised that I wasn’t able to speak as fluently as some of my school friends. This started to really get me down and would make me really afraid to speak out loud in class. I was eventually referred to the Michael Palin Centre and I attended the October half-term intensive course in 2014. Action for Stammering Children was key in enabling me to take part in this course. Because of this, I always wanted to give something back to the the charity. This was one of the main reasons I joined the ASC Youth Panel in 2015.

I initially came up with the idea to cycle around the Isle of Wight a few months ago when the ASC Youth Panel was given the opportunity to raise some money for International Stammering Awareness Day. I decided on 150 miles because I knew that it would be a distance long enough to challenge me, but not an impossible feat. I then added in a time element to add an extra challenge – I needed to do it in 12 hours in the saddle. I would do this ride around the Isle of Wight, but to reach the distance I would have to bike around the Island twice and then do around a 16 mile loop.

I set out at 7:15 AM and I managed to complete the first loop of the island by 12:30 PM, 68 miles in. I then had some lunch and set out on lap number two. When I was ¾ of the way around I hit my hardest point. I was 120 miles in and my legs were getting a bit tired and the biggest climb of the lap was yet to come. It was only a 350 ft climb but it was steep and it felt never ending. At the top of the climb I was joined by a friend of mine to came to film me for the final stretch, which really helped after the pain of the last climb. The next 20 miles seemed to fly by until the last 10, where the fatigue of the past 140 miles eventually kicked in. Luckily my dad came out on his electric bike and rode behind me for those last tough few miles. I eventually finished at 7:45 PM, after riding 151.1 miles, being in the saddle for 10hrs:15 mins (faster than the time I aimed for), climbing more than the height of Mount Olympus and burning over 10 000 calories. It was certainly a bike ride to remember!

In total I managed to raise over £1000 for ASC. Thank you to everyone who supported me and the amazing work ASC does!