In between working full-time at JCB, running Leek School of Dance alongside his wife Toni-Marie, and looking after their 3-year old daughter Frankie-Mae, 32-year old James Wright doesn’t have a lot of free time. However, when he can, he will steal a few hours on his beloved bike in preparation for the upcoming Dougie Mac Bike Ride where he’ll be tackling the Ultra; a challenging yet stunning route weaving through 92 hilly miles of Staffordshire and Derbyshire countryside.
It was only at the beginning of 2017 that James from Meir got big into his cycling when he joined SRACC – the Staffordshire Regimental Association Cycle Club. The 80-strong team is made up of keen cyclists and veterans of the Staffordshire Regiment, of which James was a serving member in his earlier life, that take on everything from leisurely Sunday afternoon runs, to exhaustive races in support of charities.
James’ newfound love for cycling led to the decision to sign up for Dougie Mac’s Bike Ride in 2017, opting for the 50-mile option, a daring yet admirable feat for a relative beginner.
“’I’m really looking forward to this year’s bike ride.” said James. “2017’s event was great but for 2018, I’m really ramping up the miles and challenging myself on the brand new Ultra route.”
“These events are not just a chance to indulge my hobby; it’s the opportunity to fundraise for such a wonderful cause. Last year I raised £500 and I’ve already managed to beat that this year thanks to the generosity of family, friends and colleagues! It’s important to remember, we’re doing this for those that can’t and to ensure that local people nearing the end of their life are able to access the care they need and deserve.”
James is an avid supporter of the hospice and frequently donates his pre-loved items to his local Dougie Mac charity shop in Meir. In addition, he tries to do something every year in support of Dougie Mac, and has ‘braved the shave’ in previous years too to help provide the all-important funds needed to ensure the hospice can keep delivering its vital services.
“My Grandad was looked after at Dougie Mac and the care he and my family received was nothing short of phenomenal” James reflects.
“We all know somebody who has links to the hospice and Dougie Mac touches us all in some way. That’s why it’s important for local people to get involved with the events and to fundraise in any way they can so that the hospice can continue to serve the community.”
If you, like James, want to take on this year’s Bike Ride, there’s still time to sign up! Visit our website for more details: https://www.dmhospice.org.uk/events/.