Stoke Newington army trooper trades in tank for unicycle
Chris Murden-Wade went on 78-mile epic journey to raise money for wounded soldiers
An army trooper traded in his tank for a unicycle this week, for a gruelling 78-mile challenge to raise money for wounded soldiers.
Chris Murden-Wade who lives in Evering Road, Stoke Newington, set off from Stoke Newington Station on Monday on the epic journey on the Capital Ring route around the outskirts of London.
The 18-year old who suffers from a knee injury, had underestimated just how gruelling the journey was going to be – but was determined to make it to the end, even if it meant being stretchered away.
“What’s hard about it is the constant wheeling,” said Chris.
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“You can’t relax when you are going downhill as you can’t freewheel, because you need to control the speed.
“It’s been quite treacherous - Crystal Palace was like climbing Mount Everest, and it’s hard terrain because it’s all off-road.
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“You always need to be looking ahead and planning your next move on a unicycle –the same as in a tank really,” he joked.
Chris is on leave from the army where he drives a CVRT (combat vehicle reconnaissance tracked) tank for the Household cavalry in Windsor.
“It’s a buzz driving a tank, because you have about 50 tonnes behind you - for an 18 year old that’s a lot of fun,” he said.
Chris’ parents used to take him to “hippy” festivals when he was growing up - where he tried unicycling for the first time.
He loved the challenge and exhilaration so much he asked for one for his eleventh birthday.
Chris happened to meet Martin Izat - who is supporting him on his three-day round trip - when they were both out cycling in Hackney’s streets on their one-wheeled machines.
Together they set up unicycle hockey club the Hackney Freewheelers at Chris’s old school, Hackney Free and Parochial School in Paragon Road.
Martin, a trainee gas fitter, who lives on Bridgeman block on the Frampton Park Estate in South Hackney, still runs the club every Tuesday.
Chris has raised around �300 so far for Help for Heroes, a charity “close to his heart,” which supports soldiers who have been disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To help him meet his �1,000 target go to http://www.justgiving.com/christopher-murden-wade0