Banburyshire woman set to embark on massive 600-mile cycle challenge

A Banburyshire woman is setting off on a massive 600-mile cycling challenge to Falmouth.
Cathy Hattam is set to embark on a 600-mile cycle challenge tomorrow, Thursday September 24, 2020.Cathy Hattam is set to embark on a 600-mile cycle challenge tomorrow, Thursday September 24, 2020.
Cathy Hattam is set to embark on a 600-mile cycle challenge tomorrow, Thursday September 24, 2020.

Cathy Hattam will depart from North Oxfordshire at 4am tomorrow, Thursday September 24, and hopes to arrive in Falmouth by lunchtime on Sunday September 27. She will then return from Falmouth departing at 1pm on Monday September 28 arriving home on Friday October 2.

The route will cover some of the country's most iconic landmarks and will include the Cotswolds, Chew Valley, Mendip Hills, and Roseland Heritage Coasts. Returning along the famous Jurassic Coast via Bournemouth, The New Forrest, and North Wessex Downs.

Cathy said: "I've been cycling everywhere over the past few months and it's made me feel empowered and free to not have to use my car. During lockdown I noticed how clear the air became, the wildlife began to thrive and the noise pollution decreased. I found this inspiring and felt I didn’t want to start using my car again unless absolutely necessary.

Cathy Hattam, who sets off on a 600-mile cycle ride on Thursday September 24, likes writing and recording music, including piano compositions.Cathy Hattam, who sets off on a 600-mile cycle ride on Thursday September 24, likes writing and recording music, including piano compositions.
Cathy Hattam, who sets off on a 600-mile cycle ride on Thursday September 24, likes writing and recording music, including piano compositions.

I started by cycling six miles around the block, and then to the recording studio which is a 20 mile round trip. From there I started cycling wherever I need to go and am now at the point where I can do 120 miles in a day. I'm no proper cyclist but I care deeply about nature, animals and people.

I'd love to visit my daughter at university so I'm going to cycle down to visit her in Falmouth, which is a 600-mile round trip. I'll be following the smallest roads and bridleways to avoid the traffic which will add extra miles to the journey."

Family friend, Chris Dixon, said: “Her story is not only inspirational, but captures the essence of being free to follow your dreams, whatever life may throw at you.

"Even during these darkest days, light and love shines through. Her passion and desire to do something that is not only very challenging, but rewarding is so admirable, and can be an inspiration to us all."

Cathy Hattam is set to start a 600-mile cycle challengeCathy Hattam is set to start a 600-mile cycle challenge
Cathy Hattam is set to start a 600-mile cycle challenge

The COVID-19 lockdown has impacted Cathy's employment as a photographer due to most events being cancelled, and business at the Air B&B she set up has been very limited too.

Cathy said: "The positive thing has been that it gave me time to do what is so important in my heart, and that's to write and record music and do collaborations with other musicians.

"Since lockdown I've completed my first two music albums, one of which is piano compositions I've written and one is songs and poetry. They will be out in October and I'm releasing a few of these tracks as singles in the next few weeks. I'm also creating a book of my photography and poetry."

Cathy is now working on her third and fourth albums, and is looking for sponsors for her bike journey to help finance her music albums.

She has raised £664 towards her £1,000 fundraising target a GoFundMe web page she set up.

Anyone interested in sponsoring her cycle ride challenge can use the following web link: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/cathy039s-600-mile-bike-ride-for-her-musicShe added: "I know that most of us are in the same boat at the moment and finances are weighing down on our minds and hearts and affecting us daily, but I felt I'd give it a go with GoFundMe in a hope that people might like to donate, even a £1 if they feel they'd like to sponsor my music and bike journey.

"I’m so grateful to all those who have already sponsored me and am looking forward to writing a message of thanks on the albums to all that have donated. I am so moved by the love and support I've received."

Anyone who spots Cathy on her journey and sends a photograph or video of her to the following email address: [email protected] will be entered into a giveaway competition. Their names will be drawn from a hat and the winner will receive a signed copy of both her debut albums released in October.