Eoin explains what inspired him to take on a 3,000km cycle ride from the Russian border with Estonia to London, raising a fantastic £5,000 for Child Bereavement UK.

I am a firm believer that the challenges you face in life are what help you grow most as an individual and this was a big influence behind choosing to raise funds for Child Bereavement UK.

Throughout August and September 2021, I completed my 'LongWayHome' cycling over 3,000km from the Russian border with Estonia back to my home in London. The journey took 40 days, 32 of which were in the saddle. I averaged over 100km per day which is more than the distance of London to Brighton.

After picking up cycling through lockdown as a way of retaining some kind of freedom, I worked to complete my first London to Brighton during the Christmas of 2020. For the LongWayHome challenge I would be cycling 100km every day for over a month, just seven months after completing 100km for the first time. This was going to be quite the challenge but one that I was willing to give my best shot. 

I am a firm believer that the challenges you face in life are what help you grow most as an individual and this was a big influence behind choosing to raise funds for Child Bereavement UK. The charity focuses on making the topic of bereavement less taboo, training teachers and midwives to support children so that they can move forward with these life-changing events as a pillar of strength.

Bereavement is something that we will all experience, just for some it happens a lot earlier on in life than for others, as I experienced myself when I lost my mother as a kid. Whether the challenges you face are uncontrollable, like bereavement, or self-inflicted, like my cycle ride, we are all a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for and this challenge was a testament to that self-belief and determination.

I prepared by reading lots around ultra-endurance sports, finding out what state I needed to be in both physically and mentally to achieve my challenge. Alongside after work and weekend bike rides, a shed load of planning was required to navigate fast-changing covid border restrictions, manage my diet, determine my route, ensure my bicycle’s durability, and predict the unpredictable weather. With the wonders of technology available at my fingertips I was as prepared as I could ever be to embark on the biggest adventure of my lifetime.

I have realised that the crazy challenges that seem impossible, when broken down into bite size chunks are not only possible but enjoyable.

I have realised that the crazy challenges that seem impossible, when broken down into bite size chunks are not only possible but enjoyable. Despite the physical feat I had to overcome, I enjoyed myself. Cycling the unbeaten path and rural areas of the EU gives you an authentic picture of areas not warped by tourist centres and major cities (although I visited a few of these along the way). 

Child Bereavement UK’s super-friendly fundraising team were nothing but supportive for the challenge. They provided me with a bright yellow t-shirt for me to wear on my adventure and some other goodies from the charity. Special shout out to Kavita for her lovely messages of support! 

I have two key takeaways for someone thinking about taking on a challenge like mine. Firstly, if you like eating food, ultra-endurance sports are for you. When you are burning in excess of 5000 calories a day, there is no guilt eating what any normal human would consider gluttony. This included choosing everything at the hotel breakfast buffet, always going XL for lunch and even sinking a beer en-route.

Secondly, I could not have completed this adventure with as much ease 15 years ago - the power of the technology we have available at our fingertips is incredible and undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons I was able to succeed and do it solo/unsupported. 

You can see more moments from Eoin’s epic adventure here on Instagram.