One sunny day in April 2020, nine-year-old Bailey Sanchez had an idea.
“I was inspired by Captain Tom Moore and wanted to raise money for charity. My dad was in the Armed Forces, so I decided to cycle 26.2-miles for Help for Heroes.”
As Bailey’s dad, José was already preparing to take part in this year’s, now postponed, Big Battlefield Bike Ride, father and son started training together. José explains it was a great way to remain busy and keep fit during lockdown.
“We’re a very active family. Bailey normally plays in a football team, which isn’t running due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our training rides have been really nice as the roads have been so quiet.”
Bailey cycled 10 miles every day, with his dad in tow. After just three weeks of training, on the 16th May 2020, Bailey set off on his marathon challenge around Bedfordshire.
“We cycled past Flitwick leisure centre, into Woburn and around Ampthill. There were lots of big hills to climb which hurt.”
Completing the 26.2-mile route in just a couple of hours, Bailey returned home to a grand welcome.
“The neighbours had put up bunting down our street, and people were hiding behind cars to jump out and cheer. It felt great.”
Bailey’s amazing achievement has raised £910, with sponsorships even coming in the form of pocket money donations from school friends. When asked what he’d say to someone considering fundraising for Help for Heroes, Bailey told us:
“It may be hard doing it but it’s fun when you’ve achieved it.”
Now lockdown measures are easing, Bailey is excited to be returning to school and see his friends again. But he still has his eyes set on a future cycling challenge.
“We’re cycling to Nanny’s house for lunch, a 40-mile round trip to Letchworth. So, dad and I are training for that.”
José told us “I hope she has oxygen when we get there!”
Thank you, Bailey and José!