Tooting cyclist saddles up for 600-mile charity ride


A Tooting cyclist is set to tackle an epic 600-mile challenge to support a cancer charity for young people.

Simon Townsend, 39, of Penwortham Road, will be taking part in the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust’s Largs to Cowes bike ride across eight days, starting next Friday (June 17) from the west of Scotland to the Isle of Wight.

Simon worked for the Trust in 2009 as the coordinator of its first Round Britain Voyage and has since continued to support its work through various fundraising challenges.

He said: “I turn 40 this year and wanted to set myself a challenge, something that would push me physically and mentally, help me to get fit and give something back to others.

“I followed the last Largs to Cowes ride and when I saw the 2022 edition advertised, I knew immediately that I wanted to take part.

“Having witnessed first-hand the impact the Trust has on young people and their families, I am always keen to help support the Trust’s amazing work.”

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust inspires young people aged 8-24 to believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer.

For many young people, picking up where they left off before their diagnosis isn’t possible. So, when treatment ends, the Trust’s work begins.

Through the Trust’s sailing and outdoor activities, young people meet others who have had similar experiences.

Simon, a commercial director for an employee engagement organisation, has been juggling training, family time and work in the run-up to the Largs-Cowes ride and said: “My wife Becky has been great in supporting me with my training, nutrition and motivation and I have two wonderful kids Josh, aged seven, and Izzy, four, who are really interested in the challenge and all the training I am doing.”

Simon’s previous fundraising activities for the Trust have included taking part in the 2011 London Marathon and, during the first lockdown, virtually cycling from London to Greece.

He will also be taking part in the London Marathon in October 2022 for the Trust.

Starting in Largs in North Ayrshire, Simon will be joined by 10 other riders along the way as they take on a gruelling 75-80 miles of cycling each day.

The picturesque route between the Trust’s bases includes demanding ascents in the Lake District and a full range of stunning British countryside.

Simon added: “I spend a lot of my time rushing from A to B trying to cram everything in. It will be nice just to take a bit more time and enjoy the view, although with the distance we need to cover each day, ‘enjoy’ might not be the right word to use.”

The group of riders hope to raise at least £25,000. To support Simon on his cycle ride, visit

Simon also has a JustGiving page at


Pictured:  Simon Townsend, 39, will cycle the mammoth journey from Scotland to the Isle of Wight (Picture: Simon Townsend)




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