Chris Hall, the cyclist who was pushed off his bike by a group of men in Andover on Tuesday evening as he was halfway through a 700km charity ride, says he has been “blown away” by the support he has received from well-wishers on social media, and that he plans to have another attempt at the challenge.
His Nuts & Bolts Ride between the most westerly and easterly points of the English mainland – Land’s End in Cornwall to Ness Point in Lowestoft – aimed to highlight issues surrounding testicular cancer and raise money for the charity Movember, with donations currently standing at nearly £2,400.
But he called the ride off on Wednesday morning after talking about the previous evening’s events with the film crew following his challenge, but who weren’t present when he was assaulted, saying: “It’s frustrating to stop but ultimately the safest call.”
In a post on Instagram today, he wrote: “I’ve been honestly completely blown away by all the messages, comments, likes, shares and outreach for what happened earlier this week. Thank you so much. It’s incredibly heartwarming to know people have still supported what I’ve been trying to do and sharing talking and raising a discussion about cycling safety, mental health, breaking down that ‘man wall’ and testicular cancer awareness.
"I wanted to share a bit of an update on everything and then it would be great to put the whole situation in the past,” he said. “What’s done is done and you can’t change the past so let’s all move onwards and on to the next challenge.
“Firstly, the challenge was being filmed for @rideshimano as a piece supporting @movember. To be honest we weren’t sure if we should still make the video piece but have decided as a team to continue with it as hopefully it helps create a discussion piece about breaking down those ‘man walls’ and opening up about vulnerability as well as showing how far I managed to get and how hard that first stint really was. Fundamentally the hope is that it can bring in more donations and support to the incredible work @movember carry out.
“Secondly, the incident has been reported to the local police force and I’ve had a long conversation with one of the Sergeants in the area over the phone. They have been incredibly supportive and helpful but unfortunately there probably isn’t much we can do unless someone comes forward. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any cameras on me and we don’t believe there is any CCTV in the area. I’ll be looking into cameras to purchase now.
“Thirdly, many people from Andover have reached out and apologised about what happened with is very kind of you. Thank you. I don’t think it is a problem in Andover, just a case of wrong place, wrong time and unfortunately everywhere has some not so nice people even if it’s very few.
“Fourth. I want to have another crack at this. I’m not too sure when.”
He added: “Lastly, I just wanted to reiterate my thanks to everyone who messaged. I’m ok. It shook me up quite a bit but bigger picture there’s worse things happening globally. Happy Friday legends.”
Hall, who has competed in the National 24-Hour Time Trial championships, has raised thousands of pounds for charity through setting himself endurance cycling challenges.
In 2017, he raised more than £9,000 by riding 107 kilometres for 107 days to raise awareness and money for the 107 children supported by The Pace Centre in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, which helps children with cerebral palsy and their families.
Last year, during the 107th edition of the Tour de France, Hall rode a minimum of 107 miles (172km) a day during each stage day of the Tour, riding from London to Land’s End John O’Groats and then back to London. For this challenge, Hall raised more than £12,000 for The Pace Centre.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.