Cycle challenge is life-long dream for former Kennoway boy James

James Keith, originally from Kennoway. He is cycling Lands End to John O'Groats in June for the Brooke Leigh Mitchell Memorial Fund.
James Keith, originally from Kennoway. He is cycling Lands End to John O'Groats in June for the Brooke Leigh Mitchell Memorial Fund.

A former Kennoway man will be taking on the challenge of a lifetime next month as he attempts to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats in nine days.

James Keith (44) who grew up in Fife but now lives in Bradford where he works as a long distance lorry driver, will set off on the mammoth journey from the very bottom tip of the UK on June 4, hopefully arriving at the top tip nine days later on June 13.

James is hoping that his challenge will raise as much money as possible in memory of Brooke Leigh Mitchell.

The three-year-old died in 2015 after she was born with a life-limiting condition.

After overhearing a conversation between Gemma and a friend in his local, James volunteered to do the bike ride, which he is hoping will raise as much cash as possible for the Martin House Hospice which cared for Brooke.

James, already a keen cyclist, has always wanted to do the coast to coast challenge, and can’t wait to get going.

He has been busy training at weekends, and keeps his bike in the back of the truckjust in case he has time to go out when he’s travelling the country.

During the challenge, James will have to cycle around 100 miles per day on average in order to complete the journey in the alloted time.

“The furthest I’ll have to go in one day is 111 miles, so it definitely makes it a challenge,” said James.

“The training is going fine so far – I’ve managed to get up to the 100 mile mark already, so that’s good.”

Over the years, James said he was keen to do the challenge, and had asked friends to join in, but nothing ever materialised.

“I have asked others before, but it never happened, so I just decided to go for it.

Cycling that distance every day from one end of the country to the other could get lonely for some, but James isn’t worried.

“I’m a truck driver, and I live alone as well, so I’m used to being on my own.

“There’s been talk of people joining me for parts of the journey, but we’ll see if that actually happens!”

James will leave Lands End in Cornwall on June 9, and head up through England and along the West Coast of Scotland, before arriving in John O’Groats on June 13.

The fundriasing page has already collected £900 of its £2000 target, and James is hoping some Fifers will get behind a local boy and help the cause.

If you would like to keep up to date with James’ progress in training and in the challenge, visit the official Facebook page set up at www.facebook.com/TheBrookeLeighMemorialBikeride and to make a donation go to www.justgiving.com/teambrooke2016