Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Josh's extreme cycling challenge for Meningitis Now

Andy Hopkinson | 9th April 2021

A Gloucestershire man is taking on a ‘crazy’ extreme cycling challenge this weekend to raise money for us, after fighting back from the disease as a baby

Josh's extreme cycling challenge for Meningitis Now

Experienced cyclist Josh Maddison, now 29, who regularly bikes from home in Minchinhampton to Gloucester for work. fell ill when he was just three months old and spent 10 days in intensive care. Fortunately, he went on to make a good recovery.

Now Josh is all set to take part in the invitation-only Mission 48.1000 event, which sees competitors aim to ride 1,000km (621 miles) over the 48-hour period of the weekend of 10 and 11 April.

Epic and crazy challenge

Josh said: ”I have been selected alongside some high calibre athletes such as the UCI World champion for long distance cycling as well as the current Paralympic road race champion to take part in this truly epic and crazy challenge. I’m not sure if it’s achievable but two things are certain – I’ll give it my best shot and I will suffer along the way. I thought that someone should probably benefit from this suffering, so I have set up a sweepstake to try and raise some funds for a charity that is very important to me –Meningitis Now. The reason for supporting Meningitis Now is because when I was born I was diagnosed with meningitis and if it was not for the awareness of one of the doctors at the time it would have gone unrecognised.”

Supported our work since

Since then Josh and his family have supported our work and helped to raise awareness and funds, through taking part in the Five Valleys Walk and cycling events, including cycling through Italy 11 years ago. Josh has also completed a 500k bike ride in 24 hours from Scotland to Bristol. The architectural assistant now hopes people will visit his fundraising page where, for a donation of £3 or more, you can guess how far you think he will achieve if he does not complete the challenge. If he doesn’t the closest guess to his actual distance will win a £100 voucher. If he does finish though, this money will go into the charity pot.

Josh added: “If by some miracle I complete this ludicrous mission all the prize money will go to the charity. And if you do not want to take part in the sweepstake a donation of any amount is welcome.”

Mission 48.1000 is divided into six stages, which participants have to ride solo with the longest stage – the final one – being 300k. Each participant is responsible for planning their own route for each stage. Find out more at

Meningitis Now Fundraising Officer Leah Wynn said: “We’d like to thank Josh for his efforts to fight back against this deadly disease and wish him well for this amazing challenge.”