Paul Miles is cycling the 1,000 mile journey from John O’Groats to Lands End all in the space of just 10 days in memory of his best friend Gavin.
In 2014, I lost a very dear friend Gavin Reeve-Daniels who was like the brother I never had. He was sadly and cruelly taken away from us by pancreatic cancer.
Gav and I’s friendship stemmed from our football team we played in together. He was not only a great friend but was also the captain of a very special football team we were involved with. He wore the number 10 shirt and captain’s armband with pride.
The team was called Hyde Park Thursdays FC and we played most in the 90s and early noughties. We were best friends and we both eventually undertook wedding responsibilities at each other’s weddings. Gav married Leesa Daniels and they gave birth to their son Spike 2 years before Gav passed away.
At the time, we arranged a big fundraising football match for Pancreatic Cancer Action and Gav Aid soon after he was diagnosed. This was a celebrity run event which raised thousands, also for Pancreatic Cancer Action. Gav was editor for Heat Magazine and previously Smash Hits and Pop World.
Gav and I eased off playing football and took up long distance running and sharing a few runs together. We never managed to cycle together but if Gav was alive today, I think we could have managed a few rides.
I was on holiday with my family in Hawaii when I learned of Gav’s passing and the following day, I rode us Haleakala Volcano (3000 metres from sea level to the top) for Pancreatic Cancer Action raising a stunning amount of funds in just 24 hours of me posting the attempt on the ascent.
My next challenge
My challenge is to cycle 1000 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 10 days. Now seems as good a time as any to tick it off my bucket list, especially being the year, I reach my half century.
A lot has happened to me health wise over the last 18 months (broken elbow, herniated disc, knee surgery etc) so the challenge I now face seems even more of a challenge.
Having only just climbed back onto the bike mid-March due to the various medical procedures, the real hard work is about to begin. Alongside the physio required, I’ll be spending countless hours away from my family, clocking up the miles to get myself fit enough to ride 10 x hundred-mile days back to back.
If you’d like to help put some wind in my sails, then please donate whatever you can. Any donations will be gratefully received.