Freezing temperatures, 4am alarms and close calls with cars: Swansea man's 5,560 mile cycle for charity

A Swansea man has raised thousands of pounds for charity by cycling the equivalent distance of a journey from Wales to Brazil - where he is originally from.

Eduardo Jesus, originally from Salvador, battled freezing conditions, 4am alarms and several near misses with cars while clocking up the 5,560 miles.

The completed the epic journey on Saturday morning, after 112 days, and has raised more than £5,000.

Eduardo said he was inspired to support families and children struggling as a result of the pandemic, having seen poverty first-hand in Brazil.

"It has been quite a challenge often riding in the dark and in cold, icy and wet conditions and on some days for up to six hours.

"Being out on my bike every day knowing the job that the charity does to help children in Wales during these difficult times has really motivated me."

Dad-of-one Eduardo works full time for an engineering company, so had to rack up the miles on his bike before and after work.

He said coming from Brazil, where the average annual temperature is between 22 and 26°C, contending with Welsh winter temperatures was particularly challenging.

"The hardest part was riding in the dark every day, because the challenge came in between my normal day life, I didn't have time off to do it.

"I planned to do at least 50 miles every day to reach the target in 112 days. So every day waking up, 3.30 - 4am in the morning, in the dark and the rain, it was very tough.

"But if it's a challenge, it means challenge, so I had to do something very different!"

He added that he also had several near misses with dangerous traffic.

"But all of this was worth it because, all the time when I was riding my bike in very difficult conditions, I was thinking 'what about the children? What are they feeling now?'

"It would be something harder than what I was doing, so I said 'I had to go - let's do it!'"

Eduardo racked up the 5,560 miles through wintry conditions. Credit: Eduardo Jesus

Research by Save the Children revealed that more than half of families in Wales on Universal Credit have had to cut back on essentials such as food for adults, heating and electricity, and on items for children such as winter clothes.

Charities have lost a significant amount of income as a result of the pandemic, with restrictions preventing fundraising events and charity shops from being open.Lucy Potter, Community Fundraising Manager for Save the Children in Wales said: "What Eduardo has achieved over the past months is just incredible and we can’t thank him enough.

"Over the past year our volunteers across Wales have come up with such innovative ideas on how to raise money in the face of the current challenges and we are extremely grateful to each and every one.

"Here in Wales, we’ve been supporting families through our emergency grants scheme providing essential household items such as beds, tables, educational toys and food vouchers to ease their stresses and financial pressures during the pandemic."