Multi-millionaire John Caudwell, who was ranked 85th in The Sunday Times Rich List, was getting on his bike to help raise £500,000 for children’s charities – and promised to rough it into the bargain.
The 47-year-old mobile phone retailer has pledged to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 10 days.
The businessman with a personal fortune of £300 million has quit his luxury mansion for cheap B&Bs, while his £250,000 Bentley, private helicopter and twin engine plane have stayed in his garage while he hops on board a £2500 road bike (brand not specified).
Caudwell, who is based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, has even given up the home comforts of a balanced diet. With a shoestring budget of £200, he is surviving on a carbohydrate drink, boiled potatoes and Pot Noodles.
The multi-millionaire embarked on the cycle ride with a group of seven friends and employees to raise cash for charities, including the NSPCC.
He said: "We are not spending much because the money spent means less going into charity, so we are trying to do it quite frugally.
"With a bit of research you can find quite a decent B&B for £20 a night.
"We have a support vehicle carrying 20 large tins of boiled potatoes and we are mainly surviving on that.
"It’s a bit different from sitting behind a desk with mental pressure, but this is all physical pressure.
"I’m not missing my home comforts. I quite like the contrast of extremes and being out fending for yourself is great.
"We decided to do this bike ride as we started cycling for pleasure two years ago and thought it was a marvellous opportunity to combine it with the challenge of raising money."
Caudwell was today starting on the third leg of his cycle ride from Wells in Somerset to Leominster in Herefordshire.
He aims to cycle an average 95 miles a day and has so far raised £150,000.