19 May 2023


Electricity engineer powers through 112-mile bike ride

Electricity North West's Gary Fawcett

An electricity engineer has completed one of Europe’s most challenging bike rides in aid of charity.

Gary Fawcett, from Morecambe, swapped his Electricity North West desk for the bike saddle to tackle the well-known Fred Whitton Challenge.  

The 37-year-old design engineer, based out of Electricity North West's Kendal depot, trained for four months alongside his role with the region’s power network operator and was able to conquer the 112-mile ride in 8:38:00.

Fawcett, who, as part of his day job helps, plan new overhead line circuits throughout the Lake District, completed the ride for The Ronald McDonald House Charity, a charity close to his family’s heart after spending four months with the charity in 2021.

“It was an incredibly tough day in the saddle but thoroughly enjoyable,” he said.

“I’ve been quite into cycling all my life, but the Fred Whitton Challenge was without a doubt the hardest ride I’ve ever completed.

“But it was an honour to complete it for the charity, in December 2021, we spent four months in one of their houses at Alder Hey whilst our three-month-old Toby had three life-saving open heart surgeries.

“They provided us with a ‘home from home’ and gave us one less thing to worry about at a very stressful time.

“I’m really pleased to say Toby is now a fighting fit 18-month- old with his life ahead of him.”

The Fred Whitton Challenge is one of the most popular UK rides and is famed for being difficult.

The route includes all of the Lakeland passes, with Hardknott pass reaching a gradient of 30 per cent.

To support Gary, you can donate by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/page/gary-fawcett-1680607728404.