Paul pedals Britain to help heroes
A North East cyclist has faced one of his toughest challenges yet by cycling the length of the UK to raise more than £3000 for charity.
Paul Betteridge, who works for AGR Petroleum Services in Aberdeen, completed a 1,000 mile gruelling challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 12 days in aid of Help for Heroes – the charity which supports service men and women wounded in conflict.
Paul’s colleagues at AGR backed him all the way with the Group’s CEO Sverre Skogen travelling from Oslo to cycle the last leg of the trek with him. The company’s IT team even obtained a special tracking device so everyone around the world could follow his progress.
Paul said: “The support I’ve received has been amazing. There aren’t many chief execs who would have done what Sverre did to take part. He had to fly from Oslo to Bergen to Stavanger and on to Aberdeen, to then get a bus to Wick (due to the flight being cancelled because of fog) so that he could join me for the final part of the ride.
“The tracking device was a fantastic idea and allowed friends, family and colleagues to follow me every step of the way on the internet and Google Earth maps. It also meant I couldn’t stop because they were all watching!”
Cycling is not Paul’s only sporting passion. An experienced diving and gliding instructor, at just 18 he trained cadets to fly gliders in the ATC which is part of the RAF where he met a lot of pilots and military personnel.
“Help for Heroes is a cause that I am very passionate about. I saw service men and women coming home from tours of duty and witnessed first hand how they were affected by conflicts. So this was an opportunity to do something for them,” said Paul.
While the end-to-end challenge may seem difficult enough, for Paul it is the build-up to something even bigger. He is preparing to tackle the Merseyside 24 hour Time Trial where he hopes to cover in excess of 350 miles on the road circuit within that time.
Being an active member of the Deeside Thistle Cycling Club and cycling to and from work most days, Paul has been clocking up around 170 miles a week. On top of that he spent two weeks in a training camp in Majorca and completed a 185 mile cycle around the snow roads of Scotland taking in Glenshee, the Devil’s Elbow, the Lecht, Tomintoul and Dufftown in just 13hrs in preparation for the next challenge.
Constantly striving to push himself in all of his activities, Paul sees the benefits of his sporting pursuits in his working life. “I am always very objective-driven and work towards an aim, whether it is cycling for 24 hours or pushing to get my instructor qualification in diving and gliding. I always like to see how far I can take something.”
Picture Caption: Paul Betteridge, Business Development Manager at AGR Petroleum Services, with AGR Group CEO Sverre Skogen after completing the 1,000 mile cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats
Author: Torund D. Bryhn
AGR Petroleum Services, part of the Oslo Stock Exchange-listed AGR Group, is the world’s largest independent provider of well management and subsurface services. AGR Group has been in existence for more than 20 years and the AGR Petroleum Services division since its formation in 2005 has experienced dynamic growth with offices in four continents.