Fundraising Batman cycles across three villages in bid to lose weight

Leigh Coombs

Leigh Coombs, aka 'The Chubby Chap on his bike', has been bringing smiles to the faces of adults and children in Upper and Lower Stondon and Henlow Camp. - Credit: Courtesy of Leigh Coombs

An accountant from Lower Stondon challenged himself to visit every street in three villages on his bike to raise money for local causes. 

Leigh Coombs, the self-proclaimed 'Chubby Chap on his bike', took up cycling in the new year to shed some weight - and has now become a big hit with families across Upper and Lower Stondon and Henlow Camp.

Leigh posted in his local Facebook group about his cycling antics, and 'Chubby Chap - Batman's English counterpart' was born. 

Leigh Coombs route

Leigh Coombs rode his bike dressed as Batman through Upper and Lower Stondon and Henlow Camp to raise money for the causes in the villages. - Credit: Leigh Coombs/Strava

"I started cycling early in the morning and I thought to myself 'they might think I'm some unsavoury character'", Leigh joked.

"So I posted on the local Facebook group and I had something like 275 reactions and tons of comments. Somebody suggested I raise some money.

"That's when I added in the Batman costume, I thought about what I wanted to achieve. Here we are, in another lockdown, and kids might not be able to go to school or see their friends."

Leigh thought that, after drumming up plenty of attention on social media, he could get the children involved by waving from their windows. 

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"I had more response from the adults!" the 45-year-old continued.

"I had them all cheering me on. It just started as exercise for myself, and on Sunday I made everyone aware I would be dressing up as Batman and made it round all the streets in Lower Stondon, Upper Stondon and Henlow Camp. 

"I rode 16 miles, and for a 19-stone man that's a fair way!

"There's no better feeling in the world. I said at the start of this, if I can make one kid smile, that's enough for me."

The father-of-three has said his eldest son, who is 23, may be joining him as Robin for the next fundraiser. 

"You never know, there might be a guest appearance! And my three-year-old was very proud that Batman came back to her house for a rest," Leigh added. 

Leigh, who also has a 14-year-old and is the co-owner of Lower Stondon-based accountancy firm IT All Figures, has so far raised £673 of his £1,000 target for computer equipment, food and other donations that will help local families-in-need during the pandemic.

To support Leigh's cause, go to justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chubby-chap-on-his-bike.

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