CYCLIST Mike Rainton has been honoured for his fantastic fundraising efforts after pedalling around Great Britain six times.
Active Mike, 66, completed the Land’s End to John O’Groats bike ride six years running, raising £16,000 for a charity that helps children orphaned as a result of HIV.
He was presented with the Land’s End to John O’Groats Club’s vice chairman’s trophy for his amazing efforts.
Mike, originally from Hartlepool and now living in East Anglia, completed his last ride in June, with a party of eight other riders.
He notched up an average of 150 miles a day in the saddle to complete the 900-mile challenge in just six days.
He said: “With my first ride I thought I had to do it before I got too old.
“Then you get kind of addicted to it. You see the whole country and work your way through, I think, 23 counties.
“That is one of the attractions to see all these counties and countryside as well as different towns.
“It is an adventure but there is always a sigh of relief when you get to John O’Groats.”
Mike, who now lives in Lowestoft, thanked sponsors for helping him raise the £16,000 over six years, including many old friends from Hartlepool, such as West Hartlepool Rugby Club.
He played for the club in the 1960s and 70s.
Mike, married to Pauline, also 66, originally from Sedgefield, added: “People in Hartlepool have always been very kind to me. Many friends from the rugby club have sponsored and supported me and I’m very grateful.”
Mike, a teacher to children with special needs, keeps in touch with the club when he gets back to Hartlepool once or twice a year.
He is also a member of Hartlepool Cycling Club and has been a keen cyclist for around 20 years.
The money Mike raised goes to the Bishop Simeon Trust which supports children in Africa affected by apartheid and HIV or AIDS.
In the last 10 years, Lands End to John O’Groats riders have raised more than £100,000 for the charity.