Stotfold man cycles from Valencia to Seville to raise money for charity that cared for his terminally ill father

Martin Rowe at the Coll d'Ares - on the border between France and Spain - during a cycling challenge

Martin Rowe at the Coll d'Ares - on the border between France and Spain - during a cycling challenge in 2011 - Credit: Archant

A veteran cyclist is taking on one last challenge in a bid to raise a further £1,000 for the hospice that cared for his terminally ill father.

Martin Rowe, from Stotfold, will set off from from Valencia Airport in Spain today and is expected to cycle for about 700 miles on a rural route before arriving in Seville nine days later.

The 55-year-old has completed nine rides – including John O’Groates to Land’s End in the UK – during the past 15 years and raised more than £12,000 for the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth, which looked after his father Johnny before he died.

Martin said: “I have always raised money for the hospice because they helped my family so much and I just want to give something back.

“I would encourage anyone to go and see the amazing work they do to help people who are on their last journey in life and make the end of their lives more bearable.

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“They do a magnificent job and I can’t thank them enough for what they did for my father.”

He will be accompanied by his 57-year-old cycling partner Steve Theaker.

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Martin, who believes his 10th cycling challenge will be his last, added: “Once we leave the airport we are on our own without any support vehicles or hotels booked in advance. After the flight it is pretty ad-lib really. We cycle until we get roughly where we think we should be that day and then try to find a hotel or rooms in a bar for the evening. Only once have we had to sleep under the stars and that was in a vineyard in Bordeaux so it wasn’t all bad.”

To donate visit and to follow the pair on their journey go to

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