Joe's getting back in saddle for 250-mile charity ride
South Shields singing star Joe McElderry is saddling up again to cycle across the country in the name of charity.
The 24-year-old is taking on a 250-mile bike ride in July to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
X Factor and Popstar to Opera Star champ Joe is a patron of the charity which offers support to young people with cancer and their families.
It’s the third mammoth cycling challenge the star has taken on.
He took on a coast to coast in 2013 alongside his friends and family and a cycle from Glasgow to Edinburgh, then on to his home town the following year.
This time, Joe, from Westoe, will set off from the Customs House, in Mill Dam, on July 14, cycling 250 miles around the country and returning to the venue, where he once worked as a dish washer, on July 17.
He’s dubbed the challenge, Cycle the Circle of Life.
Joe, who is currently starring in the UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the title role, said: “I usually do the Great North Run but I haven’t been able to commit to the date for the last couple of years and these bike rides are a fun way to raise money for the charity.
“We raised £11,000 last year so I’m hoping we could get something like that again.
“It’s not as far as the last ride but there are lots of high hills so it’s going to be tough.”
The ride is being sponsored by Mowbray Sports, SES Engineering Services, the Customs House, and Ashley Timber, and will culminate in an auction of Joe’s cycling gear and equipment.
Joe added: “Doing Joseph is giving me lots of exercise and I work out between shows. It’s not so much about the fitness for me, it’s getting used to being on the bike for a long time, so hopefully I’ll get the chance to get in a bit of practice before then. I’ll have to start cycling to the show.
“We’re all connected to cancer in some way, whether it’s a friend or family member and I feel fortunate enough to be in a position to do something to help.”
Fans hoping to wave Joe off should go along to the Customs House from 8am on July 14. The group are expected to set off at 8.30am and arrive back at the riverside venue at around 4.30pm on July 17.