Dean saddles up for cycle challenge


A KEEN cyclist is gearing up for a charity challenge which will see him going in circles.

Dean Madden, who lives in Holystone, is along with 11 others aiming to complete the Coast to Coast ride – and then back within 24 hours.

The 41-year-old customer services manager at Newcastle Building Society’s Cobalt Business Park office is taking part in the challenge to raise funds for Help for Heroes, NBS’ charity of the year.

Dean will leave Tynemouth at around midnight on Saturday and arrive back before midnight the following day.

He will cycle through Newcastle, Stamfordham, Corbridge, Hexham, over the Pennies to Alston then down Hartside Pass to Penrith and on to Keswick and Whitehaven, due to arrive by 9.30am.

After a hearty breakfast in Whitehaven, the 12 cyclists will complete the route back.

Dean, a member of Tyneside Vagabonds cycling club and a road cyclist since 2007, said: “I do the Coast to Coast every year but this year I wanted to do something different for charity.”

Dean has been training by completing around 1,000 miles per month since January with an average Sunday ride starting at 6am and ending at 1pm.

He will be in the saddle for 16 of the 24 hours.

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“One of the most obvious dangers could be mechanical failures of course,” said Dean.

“But the most challenging part will be the prevailing winds as we set off, which come from the east and will be directly in my face.

“The bonus of course if that on the way back I will have a tail wind and I could catch up on any lost time.”

Dependent on weather conditions on the day, there may also be an additional 20 to 30 miles added to the route to include a diversion along the Pennines diversion, which will also take in the challenging Crawleyside Bank from Stanhope to Derwent Reservoir.