Extreme cyclist climbs height of Everest for charity

A record-breaking cyclist has conquered the equivalent height of Mount Everest to raise money for his friend's seriously ill child.

Ben Wood climbed over 30,000ft in less than 24 hours on a stretch of Silsden road known as ‘Murdermile’ for its steep gradient.

He has collected over £6,000 for Candlelighters, the charity which has helped 18-month-old Rory during his treatment for leukaemia at Leeds General Infirmary.

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Ben, a mechanic at All Terrain Cycles in Saltaire and a member of the shop’s road race team, rode up and down the road - officially called Brunthwaite Lane - 60 times during the gruelling challenge, beginning at 4am and finishing 19 hours later in snow and sleet.

And Ben, who lives in Cross Hills near Skipton, wasn’t the only intrepid athlete attempting the feat - his extreme cycling team-mate Andy North decided to run up the hill 20 times in the same period.

“Despite the discomfort, I really enjoy these endurance challenges – there’s something enormously satisfying about pushing yourself to your physical limits. It was the toughest of days, but also the most rewarding and I had phenomenal support on the day from mountain bikers, road cyclists, mums with prams, people running or just walking their dogs – there was only one rep out of the 60 when I rode alone!” said Ben.

“The fact that I embarked on this feat to raise funds for Candlelighters made me even more determined to succeed – there was never any doubt that I was going to finish, regardless of the appalling weather conditions. My best friend’s son, Rory, has a rare form of leukaemia and it made me realise what a fantastic job Candlelighters does in supporting families with children undergoing treatment.

“Thanks to all those hardy cyclists who braved the elements to join me for a rep or two in the snow, sleet and rain as well as to All Terrain Cycles for their ongoing support and to everyone who has donated on our JustGiving page.”

Ben’s boss Tony Booth, who also runs the cycle store’s Wetherby branch, said:

“After his 15 years working for All Terrain, I can always depend on Ben to undertake the most awe-inspiring challenges in aid of really worthwhile causes. Congratulations to Ben for taking on yet another world’s first, 60 miles of climbing and 60 miles of descending in 24 hours, and also for raising much-needed funds for such a fantastic local charity.”

To make a donation, visit the Rory Everest Ride page on JustGiving.