Just four months after jumping back in the saddle for the first time in years, former NFU President Peter Kendall is about to attempt his cycling challenge of a lifetime by covering more than 1,000 miles in 12 days.
Joined by Oxford Farming Conference chairman Richard Whitlock, the pair will set off on Monday June 16 from Skelmersdale in the north west of England and make their way clockwise around the country. Stopping off at every NFU regional office and its NFU Cymru office in Builth Wells, their Farm Cycle Challenge will be raising money for three farming charities in the UK, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the Addington Fund, the Farming Community Network, and Farm Africa.
Peter Kendall said: “I have always resisted doing anything like this for charity because the NFU day job over the past few years has kept me busy. Despite that, I had become seriously out of condition in recent times and my kids have been relentless in their condemnation of my decline. So, for me, this is a mad challenge. I know I am certainly keeping those manufacturers of Deep Heat in business."
Richard added: “We both must have hit that mid-life crisis point but what better way to get over that than a cycle challenge of this scale to raise money for such essential charities."
Nigel Harris added:
“We are absolutely delighted that Peter has chosen to mark his time at the NFU with this Cycle Challenge. His challenge is emblematic of the incredible support that UK farmers continue to give through us to their fellow farmers in eastern Africa. Such support is all the more impressive given the severe challenges faced by UK farmers right now. On behalf of all the communities we work for in eastern Africa, I’d like to extend our sincere thanks to Peter and Richard for so generously supporting Farm Africa, and to wish them every success for the ride itself.”
Peter and Richard will also be tweeting using the #farmcyclechallenge and we'll be posting regular updates and photos here!
The NFU has been supporting Farm Africa since 2008 and has so far raised over £260,000 for our work. They have supported our cassava cultivation project in northern Kenya and our MAEF mango project in Kitui, eastern Kenya.
This summer a team from the NFU will be taking on Ride London-Surrey 100 in support of Farm Africa. The 9 strong team will be training hard for their 100 mile cycle through London and Surrey in August.