When you have cycled 10,000 miles already, how else would you arrive to deliver a whopping cheque to help Southampton University in the fight against cancer? By getting back in the saddle of course.

That's exactly what APH parking company managing director Nick Caunter did to make the 92-mile journey from the firm’s base at Gatwick to Southampton.

Nick and his team of cyclists are half way through a 20,000-mile marathon cycle ride around the UK in a bid to raise £20,000 for the Centre for Cancer Immunology at the University of Southampton. So with half the journey under their belt and half the cash raised it was time to hand over the cheque.

But what inspired Nock and the APH team to take on the challenge?

“Everyone at APH has been affected by cancer in some way, so we wanted to support something that can help in the long term,” explained Nick.

“ Last year with a lump sum donation and some cycling based fund raising we raised over £30,000 for Southampton University, so this year we came up with the idea that we could increase this by £20,000 and get to a total of over £50K, if we were to tackle 20,000 miles. This took our cycling theme considerably further and at the same time encouraged the APH team here to get even fitter and enjoy the well-being that cycling promotes.

“I’m a little bit addicted to cycling and really enjoy the fitness and it brings. At APH, we promote the cycle to work scheme that allows team members to access bikes cheaply and we worked out that once the 20,000 miles were divided up, it wasn’t too much between us all. APH will donate 50p per mile, but if we hit the 20k target that will become £1 per mile. We also like to give out little prizes to those taking part as incentives along the way, including, cycling jerseys and puncture repair kits, which have proven incredibly handy!”

And what was the most challenging part of the challenge?

“When we initially set the challenge, there was a little bit of bravado among the team with everyone pledging how many miles they would do. For some reason, I pledged 2,000 miles myself and when I worked out how many miles that would entail per month and week (it actually amounted to about 11 miles per day, every day), it was a little daunting! So I knew had to get started straight away in order to not get behind. So, far, like so many of my colleagues, I am managing to keep ahead of the required pace.

And are the team fighting fit to continue the challenge?

“We are! Despite ourselves, we have had a couple of issues with summer colds and the awful weather. Some people have been unable to cycle at times but we are halfway and well over the 50% of the required mileage. We’re now feeling that if we can achieve that much in bad weather, then we’ll be able to finish comfortably if we get a decent dry (and hopefully sunny) spell. As well as illness and bad weather, we’ve had to face multiple punctures and even some broken bikes, but we are confident we can do it now.”