Run of bad luck fails to put off cycling GP

Doctor Matt Jackson prepares for his gruelling ride
Doctor Matt Jackson prepares for his gruelling ride

DESPITE having his bike stolen and his team mate suffering a broken shoulder, a GP from Eastbourne is determined to complete a gruelling 100-mile off-road bike ride this weekend.

Matt Jackson, who lives in Old Town but is a GP at Seaforth Farm in Hailsham, will be setting off from Eastbourne at around 3am on Saturday morning and pedalling solo across the Downs to Winchester for charity.

The South Downs Way is a popular challenge for off-road cyclists but Matt will be doing the 100 miles in one go and expects it to take around 15 hours to complete.

The 38-year-old had planned to take part with his friend Jonathan Stoneley but Jonathan suffered a broken shoulder a couple of weeks ago while the pair were out training.

Matt decided to go it alone, but last weekend his garage was broken into and his three-week-old bike, a black and gold Trek Remedy Nine, was stolen.

The theft was reported to the police and Matt is appealing for anyone with information about the bike’s whereabouts to call police on 0845 60 70 999, quoting crime reference number EE2/052875/11.

However, as Jonathan is now unable to take part in the ride, Matt will be going the distance on his bike instead and he is looking forward to the challenge despite the set backs in the last few weeks.

Matt said, “I originally started cycling last year to get fit and lose some weight.

“I had been doing some medical work for the Sailors’ Society so decided to do a charity ride for them.”

The Sailors’ Society provides welfare support for merchant seafarers, who are often away from home for long periods of time, on board ship and in port.

Matt has previously provided medical support for those taking part in the charity’s fundraising events such as its Three Peak Challenge.

To sponsor Matt visit www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Stoneley.