Plaistow cyclist set to ride 2,000 miles for charity

John's ride will cover around 2000 miles
John's ride will cover around 2000 miles

A Plaistow man is set to ride 2,000 miles in four weeks to raise awareness of the overbreeding of Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

John Yates, 54, has always loved animals, ever since his childhood dog protected him from another canine.

The dog survived minus two front teeth according to John.

To this day he wears those teeth on a necklace as a reminder of the event.

John’s ride will take him from Inverness, round the north-west coast of Scotland, before meandering down to his home in Sussex.

Setting off on October 1, John is hoping to complete the ride in around four weeks.

John said: “The purpose of the ride is to raise awareness more than to raise money, I’ve raised about £850 so far.

“[I’m] zigzagging down the country visiting probably about 25 dogs.”

John will visit the dogs at rehoming and rescue centres that Senior Staffy Club, the charity he’s fundraising for are associated with.

Having long worked to improve animal welfare, John now spends his free time rescuing wildlife, when not looking after his own beloved rescue dogs, including seven and a half year old Wibble.

John said: “She’s a couch potato. She sleeps in my bed.

“Unfortunately her image sometimes goes ahead of her.

“She is just the sweetest thing.

“I would sell a kidney for her.”

He added that he wants to make people aware of the problems of overbreeding and to educate them about the issues too.

John said: “It’s a massive problem.

“It does need more regulation.”

Despite not having trained hard for his ride John is an experienced adventurer.

He added: “I have cycled around the world, cycled across Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia.

“Yeah, been around a bit.”

He’s planning to sleep rough each night, despite bringing a tent John is happy to be ‘sleeping in bus stops and hedgerows’.

For more information and to donate to John’s ride visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/cyclingforstaffies