Pedalling for Parkinson's
Leeds to Glasgow, 23rd - 26th July, 2023
The journey was in memory of my older brother Tom who died from the condition, aiming to raise funds for Parkinson's UK. My plan was to ride my trike from Leeds to Glasgow over 4 days camping en-route. On 26th July 2023, I arrived in Glasgow after 4 days riding - 49 hours 30 minutes, 2 nights camping, one hotel, 227.8 miles done, and 13,625 feet of climbing. If I had known I was intending to climb more than 3 Ben Nevis's, maybe I'd have chosen a different route!
Day 1 - Pudsey to Dent
Rain fell steadily as I set out from Pudsey, heading for Dent in N Yorkshire. By Ilkley, my cycling jacket was soaked through - but Wheelbase bike shop was open, and I was soon pedalling off wearing my new waterproof top.
The route included the Settle Nipple hill, 3 miles long which took 59 minutes, and another hill between Ingleton and Dent, even higher and steeper! I had to get off and push for a while! After a wasted trek up the wrong track in Dent, I finally reached the campsite at about half past ten - 13½ hours after setting off! This was the longest, hardest wettest day!!!
Day 2 - Dent to Dalston
In the morning, I could see I had reached a very pleasant landscape.For the first half of the route, the M6 was often in sight. While the motorway builders had carved through the landscape, smoothing out the hills, whoever built my single track road kept in the plunges down to a hairpin bends where streams were crossed, leaving the cruel hill back up the other side of the valley. I heard something fall off while whizzing down one of these - it was my left mirror. I didn't go back up to retrieve it! Twenty four miles into the day, I stopped for a coffee and phone recharge at the Crown, Shap. I got chatting - one customer gave me a £10 donation, the landlord wouldn't take any payment, and as I left, a young couple were scanning the QR code on the trike fairing. All in all, a great morale boost! As I used my phone for navigation, I had to conserve the battery carefully despite taking two power packs. It was about 9ish when I reached the Denton campsite - too late to find where to charge up!
Day 3 - Dalston to MoffattAfter the first day, I realised that the 80 miles I'd scheduled for the last day would be simply beyond me, so I re-routed and booked a hotel to cut 20 miles from day 4. I feel I made a sensible decision! I made a rather slow start fromn Dalston, leaving the campsite at about 10.30. I reached Scotland, a good pysychological milestone, and stopped in at the Gretna Inn for my go-to meal, maccaroni cheese. My route included a good deal of cycleway 74, and was thankfully less hilly than previous days! I reached Hartfell House Hotel at 9, and with the trike safely stowed in the hotel garage, I was soon enjoying a bath and a real bed!
Day 4 - Moffatt to Kirkintilloch
Fuelled by a lovely breakfast, I set off at nine, but doubled back after a mile to collect my bike bottles! Then I toiled up a six mile slog - the Devil's Beeftub, which kept flattening deceptively, only to go up some more. I felt out of sorts, only managing 16 miles in 3 hours, and it was a chat with a fellow cyclist at a coffee stop that bucked me up.
A tale of two cycle paths - rough and smooth:
Smooth cycle tracks are a boon too! It turned out to be my fastest day - the roads through Glasgow were busy but not steep! I think I knew I would manage the whole trip after day one; each day brought challenges, but every mile, I was getting closer to my goal. My food last stop was Chocolate Blanc, Kilmarnock - coffee and chocolate ;-) Then skirting around the east side of Glasgow, I reached Marina Cycles at 7 o'clock, so did the whole ride in just less than 50 hours.
There were moments of weirdness and moments of hope; on day one, riding in the gloom as night fell, I saw sheep on the road. But they weren't sheep - they were bushes, growing in the middle of the track - weird! And hope? The kind people at the Crown on day two - buoyed up by caffeine and kindness, the next few miles rolled by. Cyclists worry about close passes by motor traffic - but throughout the whole trip, everyone gave me plenty of room, even if I'd held them up. (If Just Stop Oil need another way to slow traffic, they could think about using recumbent trikes ;-) The ride gave me plenty of time to think about Tom, a great big brother to have; I realised that this was a sort of pilgrimage for him.
The final amount raised was £1,287.06 + £239.11 Gift Aid, £1,526.17 altogether.
To all who helped me along the way with encouragement and donations - I am unbelievably grateful - thank you so much!!!THe JustGiving page is here: https://www.justgiving.com/page/tim-devereux-parkinsons-uk but it's closed for donations now; don't let that stop you though!!Just visit https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/donate