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Ray sets himself a challenge to boost charity
MANY people would be looking to take it easy as they approached their 60th birthday.
However, Ray Stephens, of Central Swindon, has set himself the task of carrying out 60 challenges during his diamond year.
His overall aim is to raise £2,000 for several cancer charities and in April he will be taking part in Prospect Hospice’s Big Bike Ride.
This challenge will see Ray take on the elements and mud of The Croft Trail.
Ray, a home carer who turns 60 in July, said: “Prospect are a fantastic charity who do loads of fabulous work. I’ve done lots of fundraising for them in the past and try to get involved with everything they do.”
While the challenge will be tough, Ray is an experienced cyclist.
He said: “I’ve done quite a few races, both running and cycling. As I’m getting older, I’m finding it easier to cycle than walk. I’ve got a bike for pretty much every occasion.”
The bike ride is just one challenge Ray has set himself.
His list is wide and varied, ranging from completing a triathlon to driving an Aston Martin. Ray will also be cycling from London to Paris and is planning to run a 5km race wearing wellies.
He said: “As I turn 60 this year I wanted to mark the occasion. Some of the challenges are personal and some are just silly.
“The idea is to do something in the battle against cancer. I’m also looking at learning the basics of a new language and running a race in fancy dress.”
Ray has been personally touched by cancer in recent times with seven of his friends being diagnosed with the disease.
He said: “There have been some tough times. The worst part is feeling so helpless, so this is why I’ve decided to do this challenge.
“I had some good news recently when someone I know recovered, but this was offset when a close friend died soon after.”
He added: “On top of Prospect I’m also raising money for Macmillan as they’ve helped some of the people I know.”
There is still time to register to take part in the Big Bike Ride.
To join, visit www.prospect-hospice.net/bigbike To sponsor Ray’s bike ride, visit www.justgiving.com/ray-stephens1
Ray's 60 Challenges
Do a track session
Pass the advanced driving test for bike
Drive a Ferrari
and Aston Martin
Do a side-to-side challenge
Do a personal best at any running distance
Do a mountain bike race
Do a triathalon
Do a duoathlon
Run a race in fancy dress
Run a 5km race in wellies
Raise at least £1,000 for Cancer Research and other cancer charities
Do a college course
Take part in a custard pie fight
Learn the basics of a new language
Kick Bishop Brennan up the a**e
Complete my advanced motorcycle test
Cook four different dishes for four people
Do an epic cycle ride – London to Paris
Do a sportive
Take Julie on a never to be forgotten romantic weekend away
Watch back to back episodes of Alan Partridge and Peter Kay in a day
Do the End to End challenge MTB race Isle of Man
Do the Great North Run
Do the Great South Run
Go to the ACE Cafe
Read at least five books this year
Make the garage a warmer place
Construct a bird shelter on the extension roof
Build Spud and Neil a cat shelter outside for when it rains
Do the Great Manchester 10km
Enter one of the Great run races I have not done before – Birmingham or Yorkshire
Tidy the interior of the VW
See to rust on the VW
Fit a soft closing toilet seat
Sell a couple of bikes maybe (eg Suzuki, Gilera 250 Morini)
Construct a bike dock/stand in living room for two bikes
Make a hanging flower basket
Get the Pantah up and running
Pay off a large sum into the mortgage
Complete ground up rebuild on Morini and get running properly
Make the Datmah easier to ride, clutch/pegs etc
Make a will
Organise a midweek MTI ride for Swindon MTB
Start a small home-run business (ie woodworking/small restaurant/shot blasting/metal polishing)
Make a wind chime out of my mum’s old false teeth (it’s what she would have wanted)
Do more gardening for Julie’s mum – not just mowing the lawn
Make up large photo frame depicting great moments
Win the lottery
Ride/walk/run the Thames Path
Restore the fire surround for Julie’s house
Get involved in a local scheme which involves over 60s to adopt exercise/cycling/jogging as a healthy life style option
Cycle Lands End to John O’Groats or the equivalent on the road
Go on an extended round Britain train journey to places never visited
Go on cycle maintenance course
Learn how to bake cakes, bread and fish pie
Make sure Julie passes her bike test and is able to take a bike to the Isle of Man
Get involved in a local community project
Do more to create a wildlife/insect friendly garden
Run two half marathons on consecutive weekends
Be lighter, faster, stronger – hopefully!