A photographer from Elland in Calderdale is cycling the full 380.5-mile route of the Tour de Yorkshire on a static bike in his bedroom.
Cycling fan Andy Steer has been confined to his home for weeks because he’s being treated for a type of cancer called Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia.
The 61-year-old is at high risk of complications from coronavirus, so he’s been following Government advice to avoid contact with other people.
He and his wife Pat, who has also been shielding due to health problems, came up with the idea to cycle the distance of the Tour de Yorkshire in an effort to keep busy and motivated while isolated from their family and friends.
Andy said: “Our ability to exercise while shielding has been very limited. We were chatting one night about where we would walk to when shielding was lifted and decided on a walk along the canal. The next morning, I noticed my static bike in the bedroom. It had become a clothes rail covered in dust and clutter. I started to pull it out and that’s how our project to raise funds and smiles began.”
Andy is raising vital funds in sponsorship for Yorkshire Cancer Research, which was chosen as the official charity of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire before the event was postponed due to the pandemic.
He was looking forward to offering photographic support to the charity during the weekend, as he has done for previous charity partners.
Andy said: “I’ve been a cyclist since I was 15 and loved it as a form of exercise. I grew up watching the Tour de France on TV and felt lucky to see the biggest cycling race in the world on the screen. By the time it came to Yorkshire in 2014, I had given up cycling due to a serious leg injury that left me struggling to walk for four years, leaving me with a limp.
“But I had developed my other hobby of photography and combined both my passions to provide photographs for the charities that were supported by the event. The arrival of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2015 was amazing, and I continued to provide photography to the event’s chosen causes.”
Through tracking and recording his miles, Andy has already completed the distance of first three stages that were planned for this year’s Tour de Yorkshire, covering routes from Beverley to Redcar, Skipton to Leyburn and Barnsley to Huddersfield. He’s now making his way from the start of the final stage at The Piece Hall, Halifax, to the finish line in Leeds.
He hopes to complete the challenge by early July, which is when the Tour de France was due to have started before it was moved to August as result of the pandemic. However, he is ahead of schedule and may now finish in early June.
Andy, who will celebrate his 62nd birthday in early July, has been keeping his followers updated on his journey by posting photos and videos on a Facebook page. He’s keen to encourage others to take on the challenge themselves, and his wife Pat has been inspired to take on the mileage of the Women’s Race in support of his efforts.
He added: “I consider myself lucky that my cancer was diagnosed early and that due to research in the past at present all I have to do is take one tablet a day and attend thee-monthly check ups. For this reason, I want to do all I can to raise as much as possible for Yorkshire Cancer Research.”
To sponsor Andy, please visit www.justgiving.com/andrew-steer2. To keep up to date with his progress or join his challenge, search ‘Andy’s Tour de Bedroom 380.5 Mile Challenge’ on Facebook.