Danny pedals for pounds!

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Moneymore grandad Danny McStravock has raised a total of £3,130 for Cancer Focus NI after cycling 225 miles.

Readers will recall that the former civil servant managed to give up smoking after 40 years and started cycling for charity.

At the end of July he undertook a mammoth 225 miles bike ride crossing five counties with a target of 15 hours.

Danny said: “It will be a day I will remember for a long time, my training worked and although it wasn’t easy that probably adds to the satisfaction.

“The good will I received from drivers and others along the route kept me going as well as all the donations I had received.”

Danny, who’s married to Martina and has four children and three grand-children, decided to do the cycle to mark his 60th birthday.

“I started smoking when I was about 18 and made many attempts to give up. Almost five years ago we had a stop smoking clinic at work which really helped and by then I definitely wanted to give up and finally managed it,” he told the Mail prior to the cycle.

“I began to put on weight so I decided I would attempt to lose the pounds and get a bit fitter. I bought a second-hand road bike and began cycling.

“My first outing wasn’t too successful - I couldn’t get up a local hill and managed to cycle about three miles in total,” he laughed.

Undeterred, Danny started going out a few days every week and gradually built his stamina up.

“In September 2015 I did my first sportive, completing 70 miles.

“It was at that stage that I decided I wanted to give something back while I was fit and healthy. I decided to do one cycle a year for a local charity and this year my family and I chose Cancer Focus NI.”

Last December he had a set-back when he came off his bike, broke a wrist, chipped a bone in his hand and had stitches in his finger.

He had an operation to have a plate inserted followed by physiotherapy but is now firmly back in the saddle.

Everyone at Cancer Focus NI would like to thank Danny for taking on this incredible challenge and for raising such a fantastic total which will go a long way in helping local cancer patients and their families.