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Hadfield man set for Wales cycle challenge to help local cause
Friday 26th August 2016 @ 22:08 by Adam Higgins

A Hadfield man is renewing his love for cycling by taking part in a gruelling challenge in Wales to raise money for a local organisation.

Paul Gatley, who has worked at H.B. Fuller manufacturing firm in Dukinfield since 1993, will compete in the Wild Wales Challenge this weekend.

He’s putting himself through the long distance event – held every year over the hilly scenery of North Wales – in aid of the Glossop care provider St Christopher’s Trust, where his wife Ann has been a support worker for 13 years.

The Trust supports adults with learning disabilities and Paul decided to be one of 650 riders for Sunday’s challenge on their behalf after reading about their amazing work in a newsletter.

Explaining his reasons for signing up, Paul, 58, said: “Having pedalled around since what feels like a mere day after I’d learnt to walk, I was glued to a bike throughout my boyhood.

“That was until my teen years were introduced to a new set of wheels – those powered by an engine.

“My passion for cycling was rivalled by my enthusiasm for motorcycling and so my mid years saw each set of wheels having to share my attention.

“Inevitably a little out of practise, I recently found myself wondering whether I still have it in me to complete another ‘Wild Wales Challenge’ as it’s now decades since I last managed to.”

Paul (pictured with Michelle Fletcher, HR manager at St Christopher’s Trust, and wife Ann) knows exactly what’s waiting for him when he heads for Bala on Saturday – it’s hardly flat!

He said: “The Wild Wales Challenge is a tough, long-distance and hilly ride.

“This year’s event will cover 100 miles distance and 10,000 feet of climbing, so a challenge it definitely will be.

“To assist me with this venture, I wanted to support a charity as an additional motivator to see me through – and what better good luck charm than my local St Christopher’s Trust?

“Through my wife working there I am well aware of how hard the staff at St Christopher’s work in their fundraising efforts and I’d be only too happy to help them with this.

“H.B. Fuller employees give their time and support to many volunteering and charity events worldwide and I look forward to being a part of this year’s efforts.”