Jake Johnson from Sheffield has always wanted to cycle around the world. Now he’s about to turn that dream into a reality to raise money for Newlife The Charity for Disabled Children – a cause close to his heart.
Jake, aged 22, and his friend, Pierre Subtil, 23, from Uzes, France, will be setting off from Singapore on January 1, 2019, on the adventure of a lifetime. They will spend around seven months cycling the long route from Singapore to France, covering over 16,500 arduous kilometres on a journey including South East Asia and Iran.
The pair will be documenting their travels on social media and hoping to raise £5,000, and as much awareness as possible for Newlife along the way. Although their love of adventure and cycling bonds Jake and Pierre, it is, Lottie, Jake’s younger sister, who inspired the adventurous fundraiser.
Jake said: “Lottie has Cerebral Palsy, a condition which means she can’t use her arms and legs. She was given a specialist seat in 2013 and a hoist in 2015 by Newlife. I saw how both pieces of equipment made life so much easier for both her and my parents.
“Having experienced first-hand the extent to which equipment can help families with young disable people I wanted to be able to give something back to the charity that helped my little sister.”
With the clock ticking down on the last few months to go until they set off, Jake and Pierre have been busy securing visas, sponsorship wherever possible and, of course, an enormous amount of training whenever they can.
Jake said: “I’m on the bike most days just ticking over the miles and I’m planning to learn yoga to ease the stress on our bodies.
“While we are away we will update everyone through Facebook and we’re planning on doing little podcasts now and then, as well as video blogs about the challenges we’ll be doing in each of the countries we travel through.
“We will want to get people involved in the trip too, so for each of the countries that we’re visiting we’re going to put a poll on Facebook and get people to vote for challenges they want us to undertake in that country.
“We shall then try the most popular challenges and blog, vlog and talk about our endeavours! This could include temporarily swapping our bikes for camels, trying belly dancing, and eating a super-hot curry!”
Jake added: “We’re hoping that this social-media presence will enable people to appreciate and understand our approach of saying yes to the unexpected, of pushing ourselves, of having fun and of discovering the unknown.
“Perhaps more importantly, we’re also hoping that through our physical undertaking we’ll raise awareness of how hard it can be for people who have restricted use of their bodies in one way or another and that people will donate to Newlife in order to enhance the quality of life of disabled children.”
To support Jake and Pierre’s fundraising for Newlife, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cycling-eurasia-for-charity. Follow their Half The World Away adventure at www.facebook.com/HalfWorldAway.