22nd September 2021

Wellington’s virtual cyclist

Virtual cycle racing whizz Jason Bowie will face his toughest challenge yet when he takes to the open road on 17th May for an 874-mile dash from Land’s End to John o’Groats – the LEJOG – to raise much-needed funds for national charity the ME Association.

Jason, a council gardener from Wellington in Somerset, will be riding with older brother Jess, who will be raising money for the Liverpool charity where he works. Jason’s wife Catherine will drive the backup car.

They hope to complete the distance in 12 days and are so pleased that the delay in easing covid travel restrictions in Scotland meant they had to delay the start of the ride by a fortnight.

“If we’d been forced to start earlier, we’d have been facing 50 mph headwinds and rain all the way” said 46-year-old Jason. “Now the weather forecast tells us we can expect sunny weather most of the way.”

He picked the ME Association to support as Catherine has been enjoying a weekly virtual quiz night run for the charity since the first National Lockdown by a friend, Claire Ayshford Smy, at her home in Taunton. Up to 70 quizzers take part each time. So far the event has raised almost £3,000 for the charity.

“Claire has been very ill with M.E. for a few years and was forced to give up a teaching job she loved. But the way she has coped with her illness has been absolutely amazing.  I wanted to do something to help.”

Jason, a local Scout leader in Wellington, bought himself a ‘Zwift’ virtual cycling kit four weeks ago to keep fit and now regularly chats with riders from round the world as they wait to begin their online time trials.

They’ve dubbed their ride the “End to End Cycle” and it’s due to finish on 27th May at John o’Groats.

To support Jason’s fundraising, please visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/jason-bowie.