Hampshire Sailor tackles gruelling 112 mile cycle ride for military charity

1 May 2015 12:42

A Royal Navy Sailor from Hampshire is taking on the Fred Whitton cycling challenge this Sunday for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-Service men and women.

Chris O'Doherty, 33 and currently living in Gosport, decided to take one of the toughest cycling challenges in the UK to thank Blind Veterans UK the support its giving Chris' uncle Colin Williamson.

Chris says: "My friends and I were looking for a cycling event to take part in and we came across the Fred Whitton challenge. It'll be very scenic but also a very tough cycling test."

The Fred Whitton challenge consists of 112 mile cycle around the Lake District in a single day. The cycle starts and finishes at Grasmere and takes cyclists on climbs of Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands and Hardknott.

Chris' uncle, Colin Williamson has received help and support from Blind Veterans UK since 2003. Colin served in the Army for five years. In 1992 he was involved in an unprovoked street attack which gradually caused him to lose his sight and he was registered blind in 2002. 

Chris says: "According to some this is the hardest one day cycling ride in the UK but I'm happy to take it on and show my support to Blind Veterans UK after all the help they've given my uncle.

"I've seen firsthand what Blind Veterans UK does for my uncle and he has told me of the great things the charity does for vision-impaired veterans. It made it an easy decision to fundraise for them."

Chris is looking forward to the 112 mile cycle ride. He says: "I don't have a time in mind I want to finish it in; I'm just looking forward to finishing it, which in itself will be a great achievement."

To sponsor Chris as he takes on the gruelling Fred Whitton challenge, please visit

To find out more about Blind Veterans UK, please visit