Blaenavon to Bangor Cycle Challenge for Valleys Pair

Two friends from the Pontypool area are gearing up for a tough, 450 mile cycle challenge in aid of Cancer Research Wales.

Andrew Graham Jones, 23, from Abersychan, and Neil Robert Arthur, 23, from Talywain will begin their arduous trip on 19th August, starting from Blaenavon, Gwent. The pair hope to complete their challenge in five days and arrive at Bangor on the 23rd August.

 Andrew’s father was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010 through a screening pack sent by Bowel Screening Wales. He was lucky enough that they were able to detect and treat the illness before it took his life. This inspired Andrew to set himself a tough personal challenge and raise money for Cancer Research Wales.

 Neil Arthur (left) and Andrew Jones preparing for their forthcoming challenge.Neil Arthur (left) and Andrew Jones preparing for their forthcoming challenge.As Andrew will be enrolling on a postgraduate degree in International Law at Bangor University in September, following costal cycle paths to Bangor seemed like an appropriate challenge.

 Looking forward to the experience, Andrew said:

 “I chose Cancer Research Wales since without cancer charities my father would not be alive now and I wanted to give something back to those who helped save his life.

 “The hardest part of the trip will be pushing ourselves to reach 100 miles a day. Doing this once is a fair challenge, but pushing ourselves hard enough to achieve it day after day will push us to the limit.

 “I’m looking forward to studying at Bangor. I had a number of reasons for choosing Bangor, firstly its reputation as an excellent University and having a highly regarded Law School make it an extremely attractive option. One of my closest friends completed his undergraduate degree at Bangor and is still there completing a PhD in Psychology. He’s always spoken very highly of the University and we’re both looking forward to a year there together.”

 Neil hasn’t participated in anything on this scale before, yet agreed and wholeheartedly welcomed the chance to accomplish such an incredible experience. He said:

 “Cancer impacts so many lives; it’s quite likely that most will have experienced some form of effect of the disease within their circles of relationships. Andrew and I are no different; we have witnessed loved ones, friends and colleagues battle the terrible affliction and the wake it leaves. However, we’ve also witnessed the incredible kindness, support and compassion of those who choose to devote their lives to help those in need and it’s time to do a little bit to help!”

 To show your support, follow them on facebook or to donate, visit

Publication date: 14 August 2012