An officer from the Regional Commercial Vehicle Unit at Cheshire Constabulary cycled from his hometown, Nantwich, to London raising money for the Nantwich Foodbank, while still suffering from long covid.
On Friday 2 July, Chris Buckley cycled over 200 miles with members from Nantwich Cycling Group (NCG). He has so far raised nearly five thousand pounds for charity. The ride took the group just over 16 and half hours to complete, after starting in Nantwich on Welsh Row at 4:30 on Friday morning.
All 13 of the riders managed to finish the cycle and, for Chris, his spirit and determination carried him through considering he was having physio treatment to his knee on the day before!
Chris also says that it has changed how he looks at life and has realised that anything can be done if you truly want it: “My old knee injury flared up the day before and I was lying on a physio bed at 6:30 pm on Thursday having treatment – Friday morning at 430am I set off for London,” explained Chris.
“The NCG team spirit and determination saw me through the day….and the odd painkiller or two!
“I have always been a ‘glass is half empty’ sort of person but having completed the challenge I feel physically and more importantly mentally stronger. “One thing I took from the ride was that I believe if you really want something, work hard, believe in yourself, push through the barriers, you will achieve your goals. The only thing stopping you achieving your goal is yourself.”
Chris, after completing the ride shared his experience and the feeling to hit the finish line, in the capital: “It was great to see so many interesting places riding through the Cotswolds, the scenery and little villages were stunning.
“I cannot describe the sense of achievement I felt as we turned the corner on to The Mall and saw Buckingham Palace in the distance – if I am honest, I don’t think it has fully sunk in yet”, he added.
The fundraising page on Virgin Money is still open to sponsor the ride that Chris along with NCG have done to raise money for the Nantwich Foodbank.
Sergeant Matthew Picton is incredibly proud of Chris for completing such a challenge for a charitable cause while suffering from long covid.
“To cycle from Nantwich to London in the time that he did, it is such an incredible achievement for Chris, considering he has had Covid-19 and is still suffering from long covid. To come back from that and still finish the route is remarkable and it just goes to show what kind of person Chris is.
“He is heavily into his cycling and does train a lot with the club he is in. The charity is local to him and, for a charity that has been affected so much by the pandemic; it will be a massive boost to them.”
Picton has also expressed that Chris had to be forced to take a full day off before the charity event, as he would only take an hour to prepare, but it was granted to him on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary.
“We had to force Chris to take a full day off prior to his ride. He was only asking for one hour off at the end of the day, which just shows the type of person he is. I made sure that he got a full day off and was paid by the Constabulary for it, as it is such a good cause. “It is not an easy job that we do so for Chris to be recognised for his charity work is fantastic for the force,”he said.
Superintendent Paul Beauchamp, a former superintendent of Chris's is equally as impressed with the work he has done and his contribution in aid of a local charity. “What Chris has achieved is incredible and is a credit to his spirit and character. What is also important is his message and how he has achieved what he has; it is a lesson and example for us all.
“I know that Chris has applied similar determination in his professional life having had setbacks, but ultimately getting to where he wanted to be, and his commendations for selfless acts of bravery say a lot about him.
“Chris and his fellow riders should be really proud of what they’ve achieved and how this has helped so many people in real need of help.”