Sutton: 70-year-old cyclist meets hill climb challenge

Sutton's Mick Holmes rose to his cycling challenge.
Sutton's Mick Holmes rose to his cycling challenge.

A 70-year-old former policeman cycled up the steepest hill in Nottinghamshire to raise money for charity - after being challenged by a fellow retired officer.

Mick Holmes, of Church Street, Sutton, ‘had never particularly athletic’ until he decided to get fit by going spinning at his local gym.

He also purchased a road bike and quickly saw an improvement in the asthma, hypertension and osteo-arthritis from which he suffers.

After blogging about his activities online, a friend said he would donate money to his chosen charity - the John Eastwood Hospice - if he could climb up the 25 per cent gradient Freda Avenue in Gedling.

“I would watching television lying on the settee and my wife said I ought to do something active,” said Mick. “So on entering my eighth decade I decided to get fit.

“My main activity is spinning and while the sweat runs off you in rivers and everyone is puffing and wheezing, the buzz it gives you is incredible.

“I think those online were becoming somewhat bored with my boasting about my cycling activities, so one of them said he would donate £5 if I could make it up Freda Avenue.

“Halfway up I thought I was going to collapse and nearly gave up, but I was motivated by the thought of ripping a fiver from the tightly-clenched fist of my friend!”

Mick’s ride was filmed by wife Sue and inspired several more donations - including one from overseas.

The couple are both big fans of the Tour de France and have met many of the top riders, including Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

He added: “The aftermath of this ride was that when I showed the video to my friend his response was: ‘That’s not worth a fiver, I’ll give you a tenner’.

“Other blog members contributed, one even sending £10 from California, and I ended up with £70.

“If I can keep riding well, then I’m hoping to ride up Mont Ventoux in 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of Tom Simpson (the famous British cyclist who died there).”

Mick has also been inspired to begin driving day patients to and from the John Eastwood Hospice as a volunteer.

To view Mick’s successful ride, visit this link: