A FATHER and son have raised thousands of pounds for a children’s charity by riding 17 miles on unicycles.

Matt and Jack Ager completed their epic ride along the Flitch Way in around three hours and admit they have been overwhelmed by the support shown for their fundraising mission.

The duo, who live in Hoppit Mead, Braintree, set out to raise £1,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation but their unique challenge saw them more than double that figure.

The challenge saw them ride from Braintree to Hatfield Forest on separate unicycles.

Matt, 41, said: “There was no welcome party at the end sadly because of Covid and friends who were going to cheer us along weren’t able to make it.

“We visited every disused train station along the Flitch Way which was quite nice actually because it allowed us to take breaks.

“The only problem was we did it on the same day that Storm Barbara hit which was a bit mad. Some areas were quite boggy and thick with mud which made it hard to ride.

“We were certainly sore in places we never knew existed when we had finished.

“It was tiring doing it and hard work but there’s no point doing something that is a doddle because no one will get behind you and support it. It needs to be a proper challenge and this definitely was that.”

Matt says 11-year-old son Jack was the inspiration behind the challenge after he took a like to unicycling.

The pair have yet to jump back on their one-wheelers since completing their mission, but Matt says they hope to go for a leisurely ride together soon – although not quite as far.

He added: “I don’t think we fell off as many times as we thought we would. We got the hang of it pretty quickly and worked out the key was just to keep on pedalling.

“Jack was amazing and has great balance so he’s quite natural on a unicycle. It was very much the role reversal because he was the master, encouraging me along.”

Jack’s fundraising efforts have earned him praise from his school, Notley High.

A spokesman said: “We are immensely proud of Jack for taking on this challenge and hope he may inspire others within our school community, not only to raise money for a worthwhile cause, but also to put their skills to the ultimate challenge which takes resilience and determination.”