A CYCLIST who completed a gruelling ride around the north raised £2,677 for NHS Charities Together.

Joe Sutcliffe covered 1,150 kilometres – and took on ascents totalling 16,655 metres – during his energy-sapping Tour de North.

He set-up an online fundraising page and was sponsored by A1 Stairlifts in Keighley, which donated £100 for each of eight sections he completed – and then made the total up to £1,000 at the finish.

Joe, 29, an outdoor activities instructor, said there were moments when he was unsure if he’d complete the challenge – but that people’s support and encouragement had helped keep him going.

“It will stick with me for a long time how much words of encouragement really, really make a difference,” he said.

“The generosity of the people I met along the way was incredible – the donations, the free coffee, the free gas canister, passing cars hooting their horns in encouragement, and waves and cheers from people who read the banner hanging from the back of my bike.”

Joe feels the experience has changed him for the better.

“After a bit of time to reflect I definitely feel a change within myself,” he said.

“I’m feeling more capable, more empowered, more confident. The highs and the lows of the journey have stayed with me.”