Kevin’s knock-out bike-riding tales

CHEERS: Kevin Bostock at the finish point of the coast-to-coast ride in Whitehaven
CHEERS: Kevin Bostock at the finish point of the coast-to-coast ride in Whitehaven

A HEART attack survivor has completed an epic charity bike ride – despite some comical setbacks along the way.

Kevin Bostock, 49, did the coast-to-coast bike ride and raised £700 for Tootill Amateur Boxing Club – finding himself accidentally riding among dozens of cyclists in a competitive bike ride in the Lake District.

He carried out the mammoth trek almost six years to the day he nearly died after suffering a heart attack.

The truck driver’s near-death experience inspired him to take up bike-riding and he now feels much fitter, as previously reported by the Mail.

A hitch meant instead of riding from Sunderland to Whitehaven, he added an extra 18 miles onto his three-day 140-mile journey by getting his friend, Terry Willoughby to drop him off at a start point in Hartlepool instead of Sunderland.

He then rode to Alston via his home village of Trimdon, as Kevin says he couldn’t have started from there as “it wouldn’t be the coast to coast” otherwise, as well as through North Durham villages.

During the epic trip, as well as losing a coat and “getting soaked to the skin a few times”, he also found himself being cheered by spectators who were watching a bike race through Whinlatter Pass.

Kevin said: “I saw all these cyclists going in the opposite direction, towards the lake and thought ‘there must be a race on’.

“I saw a steward at the bottom of the pass and said ‘is the cycle race coming through here?’ he said ‘yes’ and I thought ‘oh great’.

“I started going round the bends and people were cheering – they thought I was at the front of the race.

“I told them ‘I’m not in the race, I’ve set off from Hartlepool on the coast-to-coast’.”

Dad-of-two Kevin, who is married to Susan and did the trip unaided, added: “A few cyclists flew past me and by the time we got to the top, people were ringing bells and cheering.

“It was embarrassing and funny all at the same time.”

Kevin got through six bottles of water each day and he recalled one particulary hard climb, on a route from Alston to Keswick in which he didn’t get out of third gear for the first six miles.

But when he got to the finish line at Whitehaven and dipped his wheels in the water, in the tradition of the coast-to-coast ride, he said: “I felt on top of the world.”

He added: “I put my wife through the mill – she was worried sick in case I took bad while I was on my own. I had to keep ringing in. But I would do it all again.”