Charlie the cyclist clocks up 30 miles a day to raise £1,000 for Cancer Research UK
A man who hadn't cycled in years decided to get back in the saddle during the lockdown and has become a fanatic, cycling 500 miles in two weeks for a good cause.
Charlie Cartwright lives in Newport and is the watch manager at the fire station there. When he was sent home from work in the early stages of the pandemic, he decided he could get his daily exercise by cycling.
Charlie said: "I'm 59, I'm not a spring chicken. The last time I did any cycling was when I was a teenager.
"During the lockdown I have been told to work from home, I thought I would go out on a bike to get my exercise."
One reason he wanted to keep fit was his experience recovering from a stroke in 2016, which affected his balance, his memory and his weight as he recovered.
Charlie and his wife Jeanette both bought hybrid bikes and began exploring around Newport – and Charlie was soon hooked.
He started fitting in 30 miles before work every morning, and more on weekends. He has several established circular routes – north to Market Drayton and Childs Ercall, east into Staffordshire or south down to central Telford via Lilleshall and Shifnal.
It had a positive effect on his waistline too, seeing him drop three stone.
An offhand joke from a friend set him thinking about putting his energy to work for charity.
"Somebody said to me 'you'll be putting in for the Tour de France next', and I just laughed. Then I saw on Facebook a cycle challenge for Cancer Research UK.
"You can do 200 miles in a month or 300 in a month. I thought I would combine them for 500 in a month."
In memory of his mother Margaret, who died of cancer, he started his challenge on September 1 and it took him just 14 days to hit his target. He has raised almost £1,000 for the charity.
He hopes to keep up his daily cycling, though he said the weight loss will mean a lot of money spent on new clothes.
"It's one of those things. With everything going on in the world at the moment it takes your mind off everything."
Learn more and donate at fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/charlies-cycle-500-fundraising-page-24.