Brathay 262 Athlete
I’m John O’Neill aged 52....and some people have said I look my age!
I grew up in Ireland and come from a farming background. I moved over to England in 1985. I only found time in recent years to rediscover my love for the outdoors, particularly cycling. A friend a I purchased road bikes about 5 years ago and have not looked back.
We set ourselves various challenges starting with just cycling around each of the lakes of the Lake District. On our mountain bikes we completed the Leeds - Liverpool Canal along the tow-paths. Next came a 100k night ride around Glasgow for Macmillan Cancer Care and then I took on the Fred Whitton Challenge unaided.
Since then I have completed the London to Brighton bike ride, the Avenue Verte route to Paris from Dieppe. My most recent major challenge was to complete the Way of the Roses over 3 days - Morecambe to Bridlington, totally inspired I went back 2 weeks later and having set off at 3:50am, managed to arrive at Bridlington at 5:50 pm, although exhausted it is something I will never forget. The long climb out of Settle, the fast and dangerous descent into Pateley Bridge and the deterioration in my average speed on the last leg from York into Bridlington, but an elation that is so very hard to describe (top of the world perhaps).
My inspiration for taking on tha Brathay 262 is two-fold. Joe Morrell, a successful Brathay 10in10 participant, knowing my interest in cycling, made me aware of the 262 challenge. I was in awe of the achievements of both him and all of those who have taken on the 10in10. I felt it was something that I could aspire too. I’m in no doubt of what this will entail, both physically and mentally for me. My other inspiration is Joss Naylor, who I was lucky enough to meet during one of his after dinner speeches. He spoke of Brathay Trust's work to help disadvantaged young people, which is something that means a lot to me.
- 2021: Brathay 262 Donate