Bet with friend becomes solo bike challenge

A Newcastle-based lawyer will be pedalling through Northumberland this summer as he takes on an epic 300-mile charity cycle ride.

Paul Monaghan, who is the head of the corporate recovery and insolvency team at Sintons law firm, is attempting to make it from Inverness to Gosforth on his bike in just 24 hours.

And the challenge, which Paul hopes can raise £1,500 for a diabetes charity, only came about as part of a bet with a friend.

The 35-year-old was talking with his friend about what distance he could manage and was ‘laughed out the room’ for saying around 300 miles.

Wanting to prove his point, he looked at a map and found that Inverness was about 290 miles away from his home in Gosforth and so the quest was born.

Then, while taking on the Coast and Castles cycle ride recently, he discovered that one of the group of guys he cycled with has a son with type-one diabetes so now Paul is raising funds for JDRF, which aims to improve lives until it finds a cure for the condition.

The next step was to sort out the route, which heads south from Inverness, round the Cairngorms, to Perth then onto Edinburgh and the border.

Currently, he is unsure about the best way through Northumberland, debating between the A68 and A696, or the A697 via Wooler.

He plans to start at 9am on a Friday, but doesn’t have an exact date yet as the trek is weather – and fitness – dependent. However, he wants to get it done by the end of August at the latest.

To sponsor Paul, go online to