A former St Austell mayor is undertaking a gruelling challenge to raise funds to help end homelessness in Cornwall. 

Tim Styles, 62, cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats – dubbed LEJOG – unsupported in under five days last year. Next month, he will go one better by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats AND back again: LEJOGLE.

Current town councillor Tim will set off on June 15, a journey of 1,900 miles that he is aiming to complete in under 10 days. 

To reach this ambitious target, Tim will need to cycle over 200 miles a day. 

“That’s quite a big ask,” he said. “I can ride that in a day but whether I can do it 10 days on the trot is another thing.” 

Like last year, he is riding unsupported: alone and carrying all his own gear, food and equipment without the safety net of a support vehicle and team following behind. 

Instead of staying at hotels or B&Bs, Tim has chosen to sleep outside in bus shelters and fields in a bivvy bag, in recognition of the realities faced by people sleeping rough throughout the UK.

Although excited at the prospect of the journey, Tim knows it is going to be tough. 

“I haven’t always been into fitness and cycling – I smoked 60 a day until my mid-30s and wouldn’t have dreamt of ever doing something like this,” he said. “I want to show what is possible for people over 60 and for those who have totally changed their lives.”

Tim is using this cycling challenge to raise awareness and funds for Harbour Housing, the Cornish charity providing support, accommodation and outreach to people facing or experiencing homelessness along with issues including addictions or mental ill health.

“I have been a volunteer trustee for Harbour Housing for over 10 years and I will support them until the day I die,” he added. 

“Harbour works with people affected by homelessness and to overcome their challenges and transition into independent living.

“One of the benefits residents get from staying with Harbour is it is not just a roof over their heads but also the tailored support and activities provided and facilitated by volunteer. 

“Whatever I raise this year will go towards encouraging participation in sporting activities, including getting bikes and other sports and outdoor equipment.”

Mark Steer, chair of Harbour Housing’s volunteer board of trustees, said: “I am in awe of the lengths Tim goes to in order to raise awareness of the plight of homelessness in Cornwall. 

“To do what he is proposing is an inspiration to us all.”

You can donate to Tim’s cause via his JustGiving fundraising page, and find updates on his bike ride via Harbour Housing’s website and social media channels.