Brookes student to cycle Route 66 in charity challenge

Monday, 13 April 2015

Route 66

Oxford Brookes student Ewan Stott will cycle the world renowned Route 66 on a triple tandem bike this summer in an attempt to set a world record and raise money for charity.

Ewan will be joined by teammates Will Corran and James Watkins who study at Birmingham and Leeds Universities respectively.

The 2,448 mile journey will begin on 5 September at the official starting point in Chicago, Illinois. The team are aiming to complete the journey in 35 days which includes four days distributed throughout the trip for recovery. It is anticipated that they will arrive at Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California on 10 October 2015.

We wanted to find a challenge greater than anything that we have ever attempted before. One that would push us to both our mental and physical limits whilst leaving a trail of memories in our minds to last a lifetime.

Ewan Stott, Oxford Brookes University student

Speaking on what motivated them to complete the challenge, Ewan said: “We wanted to find a challenge greater than anything that we have ever attempted before. One that would push us to both our mental and physical limits whilst leaving a trail of memories in our minds to last a lifetime!”

“Having spoken to friends and family about the proposed challenge, we were met with scepticism and doubt that it could be done which has only fuelled our motivation. We hope that in completing this challenge, it will serve as inspiration to other young people.”

The triple tandem cycle team

The three cyclists have chosen a charity each to raise money for; Cancer Research UK, Cheshire Young Carers and The Mark Evison Foundation. Commenting on their chosen charities Ewan continued: “We have chosen these charities carefully, as young adults we can appreciate the hardship that teenagers face taking care of older family members in our local community”

“Furthermore, the team have family members who have battled with cancer over the last couple of years and this is a huge contributing factor to us undertaking this expedition.”

The Mark Evison Foundation has provided financial support and backing to the team to allow them to take on the challenge. The foundation was set up in memory of Mark Evison who after studying at Oxford Brookes joined the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. Mark tragically died of wounds sustained whilst leading a patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2009. 

Mark’s mother, Margaret Evison was awarded an honorary doctorate at Oxford Brookes in 2013 for setting up the foundation which supports young people taking on challenges in memory of her son’s adventurous spirit. 

Mrs Evison said: “I am delighted that the Foundation has funded this project. In our experience, ownership of these difficult personal challenges is powerful in developing an increased sense of self-efficacy, independence and self-discovery, as well as the planning, organisational skills and team work necessary in such a venture. 

“Certainly I imagine that the boys will walk away with more confidence and a great sense of achievement. 

“This cycle ride is a wonderful creative example of what can be done, and perfectly reflects the aims of the Foundation.”

The Foundation encourages young people through the process of planning  and carrying  out non-academic challenges of their own choosing, and then gives them funding, often resulting in transformational personal change.  

Awards of up to £5000 are available to young people who have left school for even more ambitious projects.  The charity’s aim is to promote the personal, mental and physical development of young people.