Soham teenager Callum Fairhurst home from his epic journey speaks of the highs and lows of his incredible fundraising round the world cycle ride
- Credit: Archant
Intrepid Soham teenager Callum Fairhurst says “it’s great to be back” after his epic cycle journey in memory of his brother Liam.
The 18-year-old flew in from New York on Wednesday with his parents Mark and Sarah and over £21,570 in his justgiving charity account.
His parents had flown out to meet up with him as he completed the last leg of his ride, which started last July from outside 10 Downing Street.
Callum clocked up 17,342 miles covering 16 countries - if you count the Vatican City - and rode for 236 days through mountainous terrain, countryside and major cities.
He also managed to take a month long break to return home for Christmas.
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He said: “There have been some amazing high points, but I have also had some very low times, days when I would be in tears, struggling to get through every single mile because the going was so tough.”
The aim was to raise as much money as possible for charity including the Liam Fairhurst Foundation set up in memory of his brother, who died of cancer in 2009.
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Liam raised £340,000 for charity, and a further £7million by heading a campaign to help disadvantaged children.
“Liam was the most determined person than anybody I have known,” said Callum.
“He lived his life by a quote from racing driver Bruce McLaren ‘life is measured in achievement, not in years alone’. He may have died young but he lived his life to the full.”
Among the memories Callum will cherish is the call by Donald Trump supporters to get him banned from America, monkeys pulling his trousers down in Asia, having a police escort and being treated like a celebratory in Thailand and cycling along Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
The Trump ‘incident’ came after he spotted the presidential candidate at the 9/11 memorial in New York.
Callum – who admits he “doesn’t particularly like the man” – posted adverse comments on social media.
“A load of his followers started calling for me to be banned from the States - which was quite funny really,” he said.
Callum says his journey has given him the taste for travel “and I know that I will never just be able to go on holiday and sit on a beach. I will have to do something and see the country properly”.
But for now Callum’s parents, who kept track of their son via the iPhone app ‘find my phone’, will be pleased to know he plans to go no further than London where he will be working for the summer before starting university in the autumn studying politics at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
“I don’t know what I will do with my life, I would like to be successful but more importantly I want to bring some kind of change, to make things better in some way that’s my plan,” he said.
He added: “I know Liam would be proud of what I have done, but he would also have been annoyed and worried about me the whole time. He definitely would not have come with me; that was not his style. He was so determined and what he achieved was amazing. It makes all the hills and mountains I have cycled appear like nothing compared to what he went through.”
Callum would like to hit the £25,000 mark with his efforts. To sponsor him go to www.justgiving.com/worldcyle.
Some of the money raised has already been put to good use including building a school in India; helping young cancer patients in Australia and also funding Serious Fun Camps in America which provides children with life limiting or life affecting illnesses and their siblings with amazing experiences.