Tony Upfold’s the Wheel Deal

Tony UpfoldTONY UPFOLD could have been forgiven for feasting on 300 chocolate eclairs after cycling the length of Britain for charity.

Tony raised £2,700 for The Rosemary Foundation as he teamed up with four Farnham friends to pedal from John O’Groats to Land’s End in memory of his father.

And he burned a total of 70,000 calories during the epic 14-day journey – the equivalent of 300 chocolate eclairs, 375 pints of bitter or 1,500 Jaffa cakes!

Not that food and drink were a particularly appetising prospect during the second week of the ride, when he was hit by a stomach bug.

Tony, 56, said: “I needed to replace some of those calories I’d burned off but couldn’t eat much for a few days.

“To be honest, by the time we got to Monmouth on the 10th night, I wondered whether I would be able to finish the ride.

“But then I received an anonymous Just Giving donation of £20 with a message which read: ‘A worthy cause, Rosemary nurses are looking after my husband and they do a wonderful job, hope you raise a ton of money… Go Tony x’

“It sounds corny but that was really inspirational. It put my aches and pains in perspective and reminded me why I was doing the ride and the importance of the cause I was supporting. So thank you to whoever made that donation and wrote those words.”

Tony, who lives in Middle Bourne Lane, Farnham, cycled through 19 counties and averaged more than 70 hilly miles a day on his journey from Caithness to Cornwall.

He and his friends took in some of Britain’s most spectacular scenery, from Loch Ness and Glencoe to the Lake District and Dartmoor, and climbed a total of 45,000 feet – the equivalent of Everest and Mont Blanc.

Tony chose to raise funds for The Rosemary Foundation as their nurses cared for his father, John, in the final months of his life.

John Upfold – an architect, JP and active member of many organisations in Petersfield for more than 50 years – died in 2010 at the age of 80.

Later that year, Tony did a sponsored bike ride to Shropshire in aid of Rosemary – and it was an easy decision to support the charity’s incredible work once again when plans were made with his friends to cycle the length of Britain.

Helping the fund-raising was Tony’s mum Brenda, who lives in Long Down and was regularly seen collecting signatures on sponsorship forms from her many friends in the town and at Petersfield Golf Club.

Tony, Assistant Chief Sub-Editor on the sports desk of The Sun, added: “I’d like to thank my family and old friends from the town for their generosity, as well as members of Petersfield Golf Club and 41 Club.

“The money raised is a small thank you to The Rosemary Foundation for the way they cared for my dad four years ago. Mum and I will never forget their kindness.

“Hopefully I can raise some more funds next year. We’re already talking about a 2015 cycle challenge – maybe in Holland, as it’s flatter!”

Anyone who still wants to make a donation after Tony’s ‘end-to-end’ bike ride can do so at www.justgiving.com/Tony-Upfold1

Posted in: Past Events

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