A STOKE charity fundraiser has become literally too big for his britches after spending more than two years cycling halfway round the world for Cancer Research UK
Steve Lewis-Brammer, aged 52, has gained so much muscle in his thighs and calves that he’s burst out of his trousers and been forced to buy a whole new wardrobe of nether garments.
Despite burning off more than 207,000 calories so far in his bid to cycle the circumference of the globe from an exercise bike in his Trentham kitchen, Steve has gained over a stone in pure muscle.
The dad-of-three has already raised more than £10,000 for Cancer Research UK since setting out on his mammoth quest in June 2020, knowing the challenge would take him four or five years of cycling a target of 30kms almost every day.
Steve, who works as sales director at Proto Labs in Telford, has clocked up the miles with his exercise bike set on ‘uphill’ – a self-imposed hardship to represent the challenge faced by patients facing the disease.
He was inspired to take on the global task after numerous family members and colleagues were affected by cancer, including his father, father-in-law, and brother-in-law.
“I’ve always known it was a huge thing I was undertaking, but I hadn’t bargained on how much it would change me physically. I already did some running and cycling so I was relatively fit to start with, but the sheer enormity of this challenge has completely changed my body.
“I have bulked up on my thighs and calves that I’ve literally bust out of my old trousers and shorts. I’ve had to invest in a whole new wardrobe. Even my arms and shoulders have expanded and developed muscles from gripping the handlebars so much.
Steve confesses he has found himself thinking his undertaking was ‘mad’ and that there have been some really difficult times. But he has never considered giving up:
“It was definitely easier in lockdown when I started, because there was more time to pedal and I wasn’t able to travel for my job. Now life is back to normal I am forced to fit the cycling in around a really hectic schedule of work and family commitments. That can mean cycling fewer times per week than I had intended but doing 50-60kms at a time, double what I had planned on. Sometimes I think I must be mad.
“Tracking my own progress on the globe has kept me going because I can imagine myself travelling through all these different countries. I’m currently in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which is rather boring, but when I hit land again I’ll feel that I’m on the home strait.
“The people of Stoke and my business colleagues have been fantastic in supporting me. Knowing I’ve already hit £10,000 is spurring me on to raise even more. I hope anyone hearing about my feat will feel inspired to sponsor me, or even cycle with me for a ‘leg’ of the journey to raise additional cash.
If the pedalling goes to plan, Steve expects to reach the Americas toward the end of this year and hopes to get back home to Stoke around October 2023
Jane Redman, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Staffordshire, said:
“What Steve has achieved so far is truly remarkable and is a testament to his sheer determination and grit.
“Every penny he raises will go to fund Cancer Research UK’s vital research into all 200 forms of cancer, so it really is a challenge worth undertaking. We hope Steve’s story will inspire others do their bit by sponsoring him via his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cycling-round-the-world
“One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime,** but all of us can help beat it.”