The owner of Bike-Shed.com and Direct Golf, John Andrew, is to lead a team of employees on a charity bike ride from the Huddersfield store to Hoylake in time for the 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool GC.
The two-day ride will raise funds for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, a charity close to Andrew’s heart and one for which he has raised funds previously. The 110-mile ride will be split into two days owing to the undulating nature of the route with the first section, on Sunday, July 13, leaving the Huddersfield Bike-Shed.com store at 8am, heading for Burnley.
The team will subsequently join the towpath of the Leeds to Liverpool canal and head through Blackburn to Wigan, where they will stay overnight.
The following day, Monday, July 14, they will again set off at 8am, re-joining the canal, skirting Aintree, home of the world-renowned Grand National, and heading through Bootle to the Pier Head ferry terminal at Liverpool. From there they will catch a ferry across the Mersey, to Seacombe, from where they will follow the coastal path to Hoylake, with an estimated arrival time of 4pm.
Andrew said: “This ride enables me and the team to combine three of my passions: golf, cycling and fundraising. What’s more, it’s a great opportunity to get some exercise and see some stunning views.
“I’m hoping that with a team of employees from Direct Golf and Bike-Shed.com, plus friends and family, will, with a bit of luck, a fair wind behind us and the great man looking down from above, see us raise somewhere in the region of £5,000 for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, which does so much very good work.
“I’m very excited about the ride and can already taste the first ice-cold drink we’ll have upon our arrival at Royal Liverpool,” he smiled.
The Seve Ballesteros Foundation honours the life, achievements and professional career of its eponymous founder and preserves his legacy, supporting his passion, golf, and what the sport can do for young people.
Ballesteros, who died in May 2011, following a battle with brain cancer, set up the foundation in 2009, with the commitment to contribute to the advancement of science for the benefit of those suffering from brain tumours. The foundation raises money for scientific research with the aim of helping to cure brain cancer, working with some of the best scientists and institutes in the world.
The five-time Major winner was also passionate about helping talented young players and developing their careers. The foundation also aims to introduce young children to golf and to use the game as a vehicle for social development, instilling the values associated to the practice of sport inherent in the founder: humility, effort, perseverance, resilient spirit, determination, integrity, tolerance and respect.
John Andrew founded Direct Golf in 1991, with one small shop in Huddersfield; but its philosophy of cutting manufacturers’ recommended retail prices proved to be very popular with the golfing public and it quickly gained the reputation for the best prices in the UK. Backed up with fast delivery and world-class customer service, Direct Golf UK grew quickly into one of the largest specialist golf retailers in the UK and Europe.
It now has 20 branches nationwide and was named ‘best mail order company’ for eight successive years in the Today’s Golfer reader awards.
Andrew launched his first Bike-Shed.com store in Huddersfield, earlier this year. The 4,000ft2 store, which has taken over part of the company’s flagship Direct Golf outlet, in Leeds Road, is open seven days a week and currently holds more than £150k-worth of stock to supply demand for the country’s fastest-growing participation sport.
● To support the Direct Golf / Bike-Shed.com charity ride with a donation for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/hoylake.
● If you wish to join the team on their cycle ride please contact Direct Golf’s marketing manager, Simon Corp, on 07795 620606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
● A map of the scheduled route may be viewed here.