The General Manager of a Welsh bike storage consultancy tackled the challenging Velothon Wales route on a single speed bike this week raising £2,000 for cancer charities – after losing three loved ones to the disease in just 12 months.
Simon Nurse from Newport-based Odoni-Elwell set up a new charity initiative ‘Singleminded’, in memory of his mother, cousin and friend, to raise money for Velindre Cancer Centre, Cancer Research Wales and The Royal Marsden.
The initiative’s first ever challenge saw Simon and five friends take on the UK’s largest closed road cycle event on single speed bikes, which makes cycling, especially uphill, more difficult than on geared bikes. The 140km Velothon Wales route included two famous climbs – the legendary Tumble climb in the Brecon Beacons National Park and Caerphilly mountain.
Simon, who lives in Whitchurch, said: “The idea of Singleminded is to bring people together who feel passionately about making an active contribution to the battle against cancer. Most members of the team have been affected by cancer in one way or another. As I’m the general manager of a bike storage consultancy and an active cyclist, our fundraising efforts will naturally revolve around cycling. The Velothon was an incredible challenge that the team and I thoroughly enjoyed, despite the added test of cycling on single speed bikes!”
Simon lost his mum, cousin and friend to cancer in a short space of time during 2014 and 2015. He has another family member and friend currently undergoing treatment.
He said: “I lost my mum to a short but painful battle with oesophageal cancer in 2014. Less than a year later, I lost my friend to an incredibly short battle with lung cancer and, two months after that, my cousin Emily lost her long struggle with a cancer that initially attacked her heart and then aggressively spread. Their bravery stunned me and I knew I had to actively do something to support the charities that work so tirelessly to help people like my family and friends.”
Simon Nurse was joined by fellow teammates Julian Carter, Craig Standage, Tim James, who cycled in memory of his wife who he lost to a brain tumour, Paul Millar, who cycled in memory of his father who he lost to cancer in February, and Richard Self, whose wife survived bone cancer. Over 18,000 riders took part in the Velothon Wales on 22nd May.
To make a donation or buy a Singleminded jersey or T-shirt, please visit www.singleminded.live