The people he met along the way kept Wesley going, and as the word of his crazy adventure spread, the dad was even stopped on the way by some who wanted to make donations in person.
“Mad” was what his wife called him when Wesley Hamnett told her about his idea to cycle 220 miles from Glasgow all the way to Manchester to raise money for four different charities.
While speaking to Glasgow Live, Wesley recalled, “I said to the missus: ‘I’m going to do it, what do you think?’ She went: ‘you’re mad, but just go for it!'”
And so, it was settled. Wesley was going to ride his daughter’s bicycle with 12 inch wheels, for over two hundred miles. His original plan was to cycle from Russia to Manchester but the pandemic foiled his plans. Instead, he decided to make the trip from Glasgow all the way back to his home on the tiny bicycle that belonged to his daughter.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it – hell, I wasn’t sure if the bike was going to make it all the way. But I was going to find out one way or another – even if it was absolutely mental,” Wesley said, according to The Sun. “I barely made it – I felt like I was in Formula 1, I had to change my tyres eight times. I felt like I was going to die during certain stretches, but it was all worth it.”
The reason behind him setting out on the crazy adventure was his grandfather. “My last grandad died of cancer last year after he got it for the second time. It’s something that really affected me and I knew I wanted to do something as a tribute,” the father said. “I wanted to raise funds for all the charities that have done incredible work and helped my family and friends throughout the years. It evolved from that into something a little bit crazy.”
“I thought I’d encourage people to donate and I’d cycle as far as they’d donate – and if they hit the target I’d do the seriously stupid challenge,” Wesley added.
Determined to do the “seriously stupid” challenge for a wonderful cause, Wesley went to Glasgow by train and then began his journey back home on a bicycle that was designed for someone around half his size.
“The bike had a special significance to me as it’s the one my two daughters learned how to cycle on,” Wesley shared.
There were plenty of hurdles along the way as the tyres of the bike kept needing repairs along the way. But Wesley powered through and spent six days on the road, pedaling his way forward.
“The wheels keep buckling obviously because of my weight… The first time the wheels buckled, the guy sorted me out – he swapped me wheels from his grandkid’s bike, for free. That made my day, it nearly made me cry. That’s how generous people have been,” Wesley told Glasgow Live.
The people he met along the way kept Wesley going, as thanks to the enthusiasm of some, he was even stopped on the way by those who wanted to make donations in person. “The public keep beeping and waving and stopping and that is the bit that keeps you going,” he added.
Through the GoFundMe page, Wesley and the roughly $25 bike was able to raise around $10,900 (£8405) for four UK charities: Macmillan Cancer Support, Christie Charitable Fund, British Heart Foundation, and Wythenshawe Hospitals MFT Charity. This amount excluded the money he was able to raise on the road from people donating in person.
His six days of cycling with barely any sleep finally came to an end when he reached the finish line at his home in Manchester, where his two daughters, Evie Hamnett and Tehya Baron were waiting for his grand arrival. A cold beer and some time with his family was all he needed to soothe his sore back.