JOE McElderry is getting on his bike – again.
The 23-year-old former X Factor and Popstar to Operastar champ is taking on a charity bike ride for the Teenage Cancer Trust next week.
Joe, of Westoe, South Shields, is set to cycle 275 miles from Glasgow to Edinburgh, then on to his hometown.
The singer, who also won Channel 5’s The Jump, sets off on the mammoth challenge next Thursday, in order to drum up support for the charity, which helps young people with cancer and their families.
He is a patron of the organisation.
The star took on a similar challenge last year, completing a coast-to-coast ride from Whitehaven, in Cumbria, to South Shields, raising £12,500.
He said: “I’m excited. Last year’s ride was great fun, but it’s a totally different route this year and quite a few more miles, but I think it’ll be great.
“Last year was a brilliant atmosphere and we got a great reaction when we rode into South Shields from the people waiting there for us.
“There were fans there to cheer us, so hopefully people will come to cheer us on again and we can raise a lot of money for a good cause.”
Joe, along with 16 friends and family members, will begin his journey at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Glasgow, where he will visit patients, before doing the same in Edinburgh.
He’ll finish his journey at the Sand Dancer pub, in Sea Road, South Shields, on Sunday, August 17, where he’ll be met by some of the teenagers and staff from the Newcastle unit.
Joe said: “We’re visiting the hospitals and potentially meeting the people that we’re actually raising the money for, which is really cool, so I’m really looking forward to it.
“I always look for something fun to do fundraising-wise. I think it’s important to.
“It’ll be painful, but it’ll be fun. It’ll be painful because it’s tiring exercise, but it won’t be anything compared to what those patients are going through.
“I think as long as we remember that and realise we’re fortunate to be fit enough to do a bike ride of this size.
“I think we have to enjoy that because some of the patients we’re raising money for would give anything to be able to do it.
“It’s incredible how much we raised last year, but we haven’t been fundraising for as long this time.
“It would be great if we could get anything near that, but any amount is great, it all counts.”
He’ll be completing his ride on a bike, donated by Team Cycles, of Gateshead.
The bike will be auctioned off in The Sand Dancer after Joe arrives back in South Shields.
To sponsor Joe for his challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/GENTCT
To find out more about the ride, or to pick up some special merchandise, go to www.joemcelderryofficial.com
Local companies Shepherd Engineering Services (SES), recruitmenting firm NRL and South Shields clothing company Mowbray Sports, are sponsoring the ride.
Joe is still on his Set Your Soul Alive Tour until December.
He also has some special Christmas gigs lined up and then will be heading to the Alhambra Theatre, in Bradford, to star as the Spirit of the Mirror in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.