Norfolk adventurer reaches the Rock after long ride from John O’Groats
PUBLISHED: 13:31 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:46 05 September 2018
A Norfolk adventurer is taking a well earn breather after pedalling 2,500 miles on an epic cycle ride from John O’Groats to Gibraltar.
Jack Firman, 25, from Long Stratton, dodged sunburn, mechanical breakdowns and saddle soar to complete his long ride south raising money for mental health charity aid Mind.
His journey took him the length of the UK, France and Spain, before finishing in Gibraltar.
As if he didn’t face enough pedalling, the part-time adventurer who is now taking up a job as a commercial lawyer based in Leeds, also took detours to climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales.
He completed his mammoth cycle on top of the Rock in Gibraltar but not before he was faced with a huge storm that followed baking temperatures as he pedalled through in central Spain.
He said: “Descending into Pamplona I was hit with the first and only storm of my trip; I spent the evening freewheeling downhill being pelted by rain and hailstones.
“The Pamplona storm aside, my entire journey through Spain was basked in scorching heat, rarely dropping below the mid-30s during the day. Keeping hydrated remained a constant challenge, and I was forced to head for shade during the hottest hours of the day, putting in most of my cycling in the morning and late evenings.”
He also experienced mechanical issues that forced him to take a detour to source spare parts.
“Seeing the Rock of Gibraltar finally rear up from the shores of the Mediterranean brought a sense of excitement and relief that I had managed to make it all the way down Europe to the southern tip of Spain.
“I spent many hours pedalling; under bright blue skies and sunlight; sweaty, tired and dirty, but happy.”
So far his challenge has raised more than £2,000 for Mind with more still to come in. “Young men my age are heavily impacted by mental health issues,” he explained. “I have had friends who have had issues, but it is perhaps something that is not spoken about.”