Buxton cyclist battles storm to complete 1,000-mile charity challenge

Steve Hunter is congratulated at the end of his marathon cycling challenge by Wendy Howe.
Steve Hunter is congratulated at the end of his marathon cycling challenge by Wendy Howe.

A plucky Buxton cyclist braved the elements and overcame mechanical issues as he pedalled over 1,000 miles in support of a local disability charity.

Retired civil servant Steve Hunter, 59, battled high winds and heavy rain as he successfully completed a ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise more than £1,300 for the Helen Atkin Group, Riding for the Disabled (RDA).

Steve was accompanied by his wife Glenda, who recently retired as deputy headteacher at Buxton Community School and followed his progress in a motorhome.

The couple set off on September 18 and covered Steve’s target of 70 miles a day, completing the challenge on October 4.

Steve, of College Road, said: “When we set off, Storm Helena had just arrived from across the Atlantic and the weather conditions were pretty testing, but the really heavy weather started when we arrived in Scotland, thanks to gales of 50mph.

“At times it was a struggle to stay on my bike.

“But it was a phenomenal route, and the scenery was beautiful, particularly in the Scottish Highlands, where you could ride for 20 or 30 miles and not see a soul.

“I felt a great sense of personal achievement when I finished, and proud to raise so much money for a really worthwhile cause.

“My supporters were extremely generous.”

Steve was greeted with a double chocolate bar and a dram of whisky at the finish by Helen Atkin Group chairman Wendy Howe.

“We’re very grateful to him and his supporters for making such a significant contribution to our work in offering regular sessions for disabled riders of all ages at Buxton Riding School,” added Wendy.