Super cyclist Stuart Bayne is to undertake another marathon charity ride to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA).
Stuart, who is Sales Manager – North for NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, last year completed an 1100-kilometre (683-mile) sponsored cycle ride through Europe to raise more than £17,000 for the charity and this year is planning to go even further by cycling the length of New Zealand’s South and North Islands – a distance of some 2100km (1304 miles).
Ignition specialist NGK – the leading supplier of original equipment (OE) spark plugs, glow plugs and NTK sensors – will once again be a main sponsor of his charity ride with a number of NGK customers, colleagues and friends also pledging funds.
Stuart (53) said: “Inspired by my cycle ride last year across Europe, I intend to go one better this time round. Lands’ End to John O’Groats crossed my mind, but clearly was not a big enough challenge, so during December, I will be undertaking a charity cycle ride of over 2100km as I aim to travel from Bluff at the southern tip of New Zealand through the South Island crossing Cook Strait on a ferry and continuing through the North Island, ending my ride at Cape Reinga, the northern-most part of the country.
“Once again, I will be raising funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association, of whom I have first-hand knowledge, as a parent, of their activities to support and encourage people of all ages with Down’s Syndrome to live full and rewarding lives.”
Down’s Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21 in the body’s cells which occurs by chance at conception.
The DSA is the only organisation in this country focusing solely on all aspects of living successfully with Down’s Syndrome and aims to help people live full and rewarding lives.
Stuart, who plans to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome associations of both the UK and New Zealand, said that this year’s charity ride will see him travel over more mountainous terrain than last year.
The father-of-three, who lives in Haverhill, Suffolk, said: “The start of the journey will see me ride over quite flat ground so I plan to cover as many miles a day as possible before I reach more challenging terrain were the elevation I will encounter will rise by as much as 1400 metres in a day.
“However, I have done more hill training than before and I am fitter and am carrying less weight than last year so hopefully I’ll be able to cope.”
Stuart’s fund-raising journey last year was designed to help mark the 40th anniversary of NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd which was incorporated as a UK subsidiary company of Japan in 1975.
Starting from NGK’s Hemel Hempstead headquarters he rode through five countries in just nine days to reach the company’s spark plug factory at Meung Sur Loire in southern France, visiting NGK’s European headquarters at Ratingen near Dusseldorf, Germany.
His journey raised £17,066.98 for the charity, which was presented to DSA’s UK patron Damon Hill, the 1996 F1 World champion and double BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Marko Wowczyna, Automotive Director, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “We are delighted to once again support Stuart’s fund-raising efforts. He has set himself an even bigger challenge than last year, but I’m sure that he will once again be successful in raising funds for what is such a worthwhile cause.”
NGK is planning to raise funds for the DSA when it exhibits at the Motorcycle Live show at the NEC, Birmingham on November 19-27 where visitors will have the opportunity of obtaining a limited number of special baseball caps signed by triple World Speedway champion Greg Hancock in return for a minimum donation.
And caps signed by Damon Hill will also be available for a minimum donation when NGK exhibits at the Autosport International Show at the NEC on January 12-15, 2017.
Stuart, whose wife Ruth hails from New Zealand, will be accompanied on his journey by his father-in-law Barrie Atkins who will drive the support vehicle.
Anyone wishing to support his marathon ride, which sets off from Bluff on December 4 and ends at Cape Reinga, on December 22.
To make a donation visit https://give.everydayhero.com/nz/bottom-up