Physics graduate turned adventurist embarking on global cycling challenge

Whilst most students are eager to celebrate the end of university life with a party before planning their next move beyond university life, Physics graduate, Jake Johnson, is instead preparing to cycle more than 10,000 miles for charity.

After four years of rigorous studies in the School of Physics and Astronomy, Jake will continue his uphill cycle by biking from Singapore to France for the charity Newlife, which provides mobility equipment and funding for disabled children and families.

It is a cause that hits close to home for Jake – much, much closer to home than he will be during the next year – as the charity greatly improved the life of his younger sister, who uses a wheelchair.

Preparing for his journey, Jake says the people he’s met and the positive experiences he’s had during his time at The University of Manchester helped inspire him to make the epic journey.

He said: “Being part of such a big university meant that there were motivated, driven and interesting people to meet, work and play with. It was great to meet like-minded people with whom I share certain to values, and even better to meet different people who have made my values evolve!”

Jake Johnson
It was great to meet like-minded people with whom I share certain to values, and even better to meet different people who have made my values evolve!
Jake Johnson

While he may not have learned about cycling in the physics labs, he says his time at Manchester also helped him to learn about diverse people, places and giving back to others. He is now ready to put this into practice and begin a new next chapter away from university.

He added: “My favourite thing about studying at Manchester was the huge variety of people I had the privilege of meeting throughout it. But now I’m ready to tackle the next stage of my life and try to use what I’ve learnt through the last four years as a base from which I can learn more.”

With his cycling marathon on the horizon – they set off on New Year’s Day 2019, Jake’s summer will be devoted to supporting Newlife and preparing for his travels. Jake plans to attend cycling and adventure festivals, where he will run fundraising mini-competitions for festival-goers by challenging them to do 1km sprints on exercise bikes. He will also be giving talks about his journey and donating funds to Newlife.

Beyond outreach and fundraising, Jake will be practicing other endurance challenges and working at a bike shop to save money for his journey. Jake and Pierre will be sharing updates about their cycling challenge on Facebook, Instagram and their blog, Half the World Away.

They will be taking donations for securing equipment and finalising their journey until October. Any donation, no matter how small, will be warmly received to set them on their way to adventure.

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