The chairman of one of Southampton’s oldest family businesses is taking on a historic challenge to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Stuart Mason-Elliott, chairman of Elliotts, the South’s leading independent supplier of building products to the trade and public, is currently making his way across France on a 150-year-old bicycle.
The antique bicycle, known as a velocipede, was the first bicycle to have pedals. Designed by the Olivier brothers and Pierre Michaux and made completely of wood, it earned the title of the 'boneshaker' due to its uncomfortable ride.
The Olivier brothers wanted to show their new invention off to the world and set off on the first ever long distance bike ride between Paris and Avignon. It took them 10 days to cycle 500 miles on the 35kg bikes. In contrast, modern road bikes used in competitive cycling events weigh less than 6.8kg.
Stuart, along with six other enthusiasts from across the world, are following their route on its 150th anniversary and left Paris from near the Champs Elysee last week. They hope to complete the journey by August 23.
The challenge is a warm up for Stuart who will be joined by the rest of the Elliotts cycling team for the Challenge Adventure Charities Alpe d'Huez Challenge in September. The team, made up of managing director Tom Elliott, Trevor King, Steve Thomas and Matthew Adlington, will tackle the 450 miles between Troyes and the top of the Alpe d'Huez in just three days. They are raising sponsorship for Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.
To sponsor Stuart Mason-Elliott and donate to Cancer Research UK, please visit www.justgiving.com/Stuart-Mason-Elliott5
To find out more about Challenge Adventure Charities and the Alpe d-Huez Challenge please visit www.challengeadventurecharities.org.uk