Wilburton man to tackle gruelling bike ride across the Fens in NHS tribute

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 July 2020

Ollie Wright wants to pay tribute to the NHS for their work during the coronavirus pandemic by tackling a bike ride across the Fens. Picture: OLLIE WRIGHT

Ollie Wright wants to pay tribute to the NHS for their work during the coronavirus pandemic by tackling a bike ride across the Fens. Picture: OLLIE WRIGHT

Archant

A man who has autism aims to pay his own tribute to NHS workers battling the coronavirus pandemic by taking on a gruelling bike ride.

Ollie and friend Katie were meant to cycle from Ely to Downham Market for Safe Soulmate, which they still raised money for. Picture: SAFE SOULMATE/JUSTGIVINGOllie and friend Katie were meant to cycle from Ely to Downham Market for Safe Soulmate, which they still raised money for. Picture: SAFE SOULMATE/JUSTGIVING

Ollie Wright from Wilburton near Ely said he wanted to honour the work done by healthcare staff during the lockdown by pedalling across the Fens to raise money for them.

“As a youngster, I have been in and out of hospital since I was born,” he said.

“During the pandemic, I thought it is only fair because they have been outstanding, risking their lives to save ours.

“I thought it is only fair to pay tribute to them in a good way, and hopefully we can get a lot of money raised.”

Ollie, who is no stranger to long cycle rides, plans to leave his home village at around 3.30am on Thursday, August 6 before passing through the likes of Milton, Welney and Newmarket before returning to Wilburton.

He hopes the ride will take between 10 and 12 hours, something he is excited about.

MORE: You’ve got a friend in me: Long-time friends take on cycle challenge for worthwhile cause

“I think if I do it solo, I will bring my friend out for the final stretch so we can do the final few miles together and have a bacon butty at the end of it!” Ollie said.

“I’m feeling quite excited about doing it, but also a little nervous because I don’t know how busy it will be.

“I’ve done a few big ones, but this is right on the limit of my radar. I’ve done 119 miles in a day, but this is doable.”

Having been diagnosed with autism as a baby, Ollie has supported different causes, including Ely foodbank which he raised around £200 for in August 2016.

He also helped raise over £1,200 for a bike ride between Ely and Downham Market with friend Katie Crook for dating agency Safe Soulmate to help those living with autism and other learning difficulties.

But although Ollie couldn’t take on the challenge due to the lockdown, this time, he is not holding anything back.

“I got bullied at school pretty badly. There are going to be people who want to not make you do it,” he said.

“There are going to be people who will break you down, but you have to get in the mindset of following your heart.

“Do not listen to any hate, follow your heart and it will take you where you want to go. If you want something, you will go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back.”


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