AN ANDOVER man is gearing up for the “challenge of a lifetime” as he prepares to cycle almost 4,000 miles across the United States in the name of two very special people.

Andrew Cattle, 52, will be riding across America, crossing 11 states and covering more than 3,800 miles, between April and July this year.

It’s not the first ride he’s done for charity - not that it makes the challenge any easier.

“Trust me, I’m far from the fit type,” he said. “I cycle purely for charity.”

Andrew will be raising funds for three charities – the Countess of Brecknock Hospice, the Pitt Hopkins Foundation, and Mind. He’ll also be riding in honour of his step-dad, Keith, who passed away last April, and a young girl from America named Auvie, who has condition called Pitt Hopkins Syndrome – a rare, genetic neurological disorder.

The story of how Andrew came to know of Auvie dates back to one of his previous charity rides.

The Ocado employee recalls finishing a trek across Death Valley and heading to a biker bar, where a woman asked him about the charity he had been raising funds for.

The pair got talking and she told him about her granddaughter, Auvie, and the condition she lives with.

She wrote her details on a napkin, and when Andrew later recovered that napkin, he made contact with Auvie and determined to do his bit to raise funds in her honour.

“I made a promise to Auvie that I will continue to work for her until she tells me to stop,” he said.

“But she’s non-verbal. And I hope that one day she does tell me to stop.”

Achieving that would not be the first time Auvie has overcome the odds and proven doctors wrong.

“Auvie does so much for me by just being her,” Andrew added. “They said she would never walk and now she walks. She fights and fights like nobody I know. We take for granted our ability to communicate. She can’t communicate. She can’t tell her mum how she’s feeling. So she needs other people to support her. And that’s my job.”

Andrew is also riding in memory of Keith, his step-father who he says was part of his life for 43 years.

He admits that the two weren’t the closest growing up, but after Keith fell ill the pair spent more and more time together talking.

“He’s always been there for me,” said Andrew.

“We never had a proper relationship until he became ill. It wasn’t until I started talking to him and all these memories I had as a child, which I thought were just silly memories, he had them all too.

“And he loved hearing about my cycling.

He continued: “It’s not about blood, it’s about people who are there for you and that’s what joins Keith and Auvie. Neither are blood relations but both are very important people in my life.”

Andrew will cycle from Daytona Beach, in Florida, through 11 states – covering more than 3,800 miles – to Silverton, Oregon.

Along the way he’ll be stopping by the bar where he first met Auvie’s grandmother, before ending up in a café that sells a cheesecake named in Auvie’s honour, which the two of them will tuck into together.

It will be a pleasure to ride in Auvie and Keith’s honour, he says. “Although I’m sure after 61 days on the saddle I won’t be using the word pleasure,” he quipped.

To find out more about Andrew and his journey, or to donate to the cause in any way, go to