Guernsey Press

Prison officer will cycle End to End for chosen charities

A LOCAL prison officer is gearing up for a 900-mile cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in August.

Simon Chapman has been cycling to and from work at Guernsey Prison as part of his training for a charity cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats in the summer. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31834308)

Simon Chapman, 59, is raising funds for two charities – local charity Diabetes Guernsey, and Hannah House Children’s Respite Care Centre in Leeds.

Mr Chapman said that the ride – known as the End to End – had been on his bucket list for a while and was something that he had wanted to do since he was a child.

‘I bought a gravel bike about 18 months ago, which can go off-road. It’s not electric, and is completely self-sufficient and fit for purpose,’ he said.

Mr Chapman will be following what is known as the Safer Route, recommended by author Royston Wood, who has cycled the End to End multiple times.

Mr Chapman will be able to access the route while cycling via an app on his phone, which will be fixed in place on his handlebars.

By using a combination of national cycleways, disused railways and canal tow-paths, Mr Chapman intends to complete the cycle solo with no support vehicle, although he expected that some of his friends and family would try to intercept him at various points along the route.

‘I’m a member of a motorcycle club over here, so I think some of the other members may join me for parts of the journey,’ he said.

To keep expenses to a minimum, Mr Chapman will camp each night.

‘I’m able to carry my luggage, food, tent and sleeping bag in panniers on the bike,’ he said, adding that he had also had six or seven offers of accommodation from friends and family living in the UK, including from his wife’s family in Burnley.

Mr Chapman plans to cycle between five and seven hours each day of the journey, and hopes to hit a daily average of about 50 miles once he sets off from Land’s End on 31 July.

‘I’ve been cycling four miles to and from work for the past six months as a sort of training routine,’ he said, adding that the steepest part of his route would be a 740 metre climb between Lancaster and Penrith.

Mr Chapman hopes to raise £1,500 each for the two charities he is supporting.

‘Diabetes Guernsey is a charity that is particularly close to my heart. I have been type two diabetic for seven years but have managed to lose four stone in the last two years to aid my condition.

‘Meanwhile, Hannah House was paid for and opened in memorial to my late sister by our family,’ he said.

Mr Chapman added that he was also looking for a main personal sponsor who would be willing to cover his personal expenses during his ride.

n Details of how to donate to Mr Chapman’s fundraising efforts via JustGiving are at