Young Endeavour Tenant Catches Wiggins Fever to Complete Sponsored Ride
Published by Esme Trelease for Endeavour Housing Association in Housing and also in Health
Luke stands proudly with his bike at the Roseberry Toppin summit
A young Endeavour Housing Association Supported Housing tenant has successfully completed a sponsored bike ride to the top of Roseberry Topping. Luke Brackenbury offered to complete the bike ride, a 32 mile round trip from his home at Parkfied Hall young person’s service inStockton-on-Tees, to raise funds for Parkfield’s cycle club.
Luke, 19, and originally fromEast Sussex, has always enjoyed cycling, but became more serious about the sport at the age of 13 as he explains here.
“I have Aspergers syndrome, and cycling helps me manage it. When I’m on the bike, everything else falls away. It’s an immensely freeing feeling. If, at the end of the day, I haven’t been on my bike, I feel restless.”
More than raising funds for Parkfield Hall’s cycling club, Luke hopes that he is setting an example to others who have disabilities.
“I think I’m living proof that if you have a learning difficulty or other disability, you can achieve great things and make a positive contribution. It’s one of my aims that one day, I will be able to mentor children with learning difficulties, as I truly believe that we all have a valuable contribution to make.”
Luke certainly makes a contribution, volunteering in a free bookshop, and at The Hub, aStocktonbased service that aims to increase bicycle useage in the town. Acting as a Marshall, experienced cycler Luke shows people how to ride safely in traffic.
“I think that pedal power is under-rated. More people should get on their bikes – not only does it keep you fit, but it’s cheaper than petrol! If people do decided to take the bike instead of the car, though, they should make sure they can ride safely in traffic. Some drivers aren’t as careful and considerate as they should be, which is why I’m helping out at The Hub.”
If riding in town is difficult, the ride to Roseberry Topping was certainly not plain sailing, as Luke explains,
“The Gribdale Gate part of the ride was a bit hairy! Not only is it extremely steep, it’s also a single track lane with cars coming flying towards you. The toughest part was the ascent to Roseberry Topping itself though – I had to carry the bike, as it was too steep. It was exhausting, but I’m pleased I stuck with it. The feeling of achievement is amazing.”
What next for this enterprising young Endeavour tenant?
“I’m moving out of Parkfield soon, to my own flat. The support staff have been excellent, but it’s time for me to move on. I’m starting a Princes Trust course soon though, and hope to get funding to start my own business soon – in bicycle repair – what else? I’m also hoping to make the 2016 Olympic Cycling Team, Bradley Wiggins and the rest of the Team GB Cycling Team were an inspiration to us all.”
Luke has raised in the region of £250, which will be further augmented by a donation from Endeavour’s social fund. The money will be used to buy bikes and equipment. Along with running and gardening clubs, the cycling club will form part of Parkfield’s new Healthy Living Programme.