Fabulous LEJOG 14 get in gear for Ark

They are 14 super cyclists who are set to embark on an epic ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats – and for the team leader, completing this amazing feat will be a particular personal triumph.

On May 13, Jonathan Hobby and 13 fellow riders will set off from the end of the country in Cornwall and head north on a nine-day 930-mile ride to the Scottish landmark at the other end of Great Britain.

The riders will be supporting Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s campaign to raise £5million towards the unique local cancer treatment centre that will serve people in the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) area.

The cycling feat will be a great achievement for all of the riders but particularly for 51-year-old keen cyclist Jonathan, who has been undergoing treatment for lymphoma.

It was only last September that the father-of-four, who is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was diagnosed with cancer.

He said: “I had been having some difficulties with my breathing and a scan revealed that I had a tumour the size of a melon in my chest.

“I became seriously ill, and needed emergency surgery. I then underwent six months of chemotherapy in the Basing Unit at Basingstoke hospital.

“Thanks to the skill and care of the team there, I am now well enough to return to work, and I have been able to get back on my bike, albeit a bit slower than before.”

Jonathan’s presence on the LEJOG 2017 trek is a major achievement in itself, but he is clearly undaunted by the challenge that lies ahead.

“I like to ride a bike and I like to test myself,” he said. “I have been a keen cyclist for 10 years, and I have never done the Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) ride before so I thought this would be an interesting and enjoyable challenge.

“I am delighted that I am riding with such a great group of family, friends and colleagues on what will be a very memorable journey.”

Jonathan added that he and his fellow riders – Kevin Conn, Paul Hart, Graham Hazell, Rob Hewetson, Jolyon Hobby, Chris Hocking, David Poole, Chris Sayer, Tim Syder, Peter Chapman, Mark Keane, Myles Gascoyne and Charlie Taylor – are pleased to be making a difference by supporting Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

“We have set up fundraising pages through The Good Exchange which means that everyone who backs us will see their money doubled by the Greenham Common Trust which is match-funding donations,” said Jonathan.

The riders have received some great support from local companies – Pedal On, in Tadley, is the headline gold sponsor while silver and bronze sponsorship support has been provided by the Candover Clinic, in Basingstoke, and Caviste Independent Wine Merchant, in Overton, respectively.

To make a donation in support of the riders, please go to thegoodexchange.com/fundraising-profile/44/jonathan-hobby/11011/to-build-a-state-of-the-art-cancer-treatment-centre. David has also set up a fundraising page on The Good Exchange portal.

The riders will receive invaluable assistance on their long journey from a support team of volunteers.

Picture caption: Some of the riders outside Caviste, which is one of their corporate sponsors.