Ellon man gears up for 1000 mile cycle

An Ellon man is busily preparing for a 1000 mile solo cycle in aid of the British Heart Foundation.

Robert Donald, 73, will pedal from Lands End to John O’Groats next month.

Robert Donald is gearing up for a 1000 mile cycle next month for the British Heart Foundation

Robert Donald is gearing up for a 1000 mile cycle next month for the British Heart Foundation

He is aiming to complete the gruelling cycle in 15-17 days which he starts on May 25.

The keen cyclist has chosen to support the charity for personal reasons.

Robert told the Times: “I’ve raised money for other charities through a Coast and Castles cycle route I did to Newcastle, but for this one I am raising money for the British Heart Foundation - I lost my wife through heart problems.”

“I decided to do it as a solo because it means I can adjust the time and distance travelled as I go.”

In preparation for his challenge, Robert has cycled some 80 miles from Ellon to Fraserburgh then on to MacDuff before coming home through New Deer.

He added: “I’ve also cycled from Ellon to Oldmeldrum to Inverurie and Rothienorman, but that’s only about 50 miles.”

Robert finished his school years in Ellon, before moving to Aberdeen and then decided to return to the town in the 1970s.

He always had a mountain bike but decided to purchase a road bike several years ago and has been pedalling ever since.

In the run up to the event, Robert has been using Nick Mitchell’s book: End To End Cycle Route, for guidance, although he has made some alterations to make his route work best for him.

He anticipates that the Moretonhampstead to Street section will be the toughest after reading the stages involved.

“Some of the stages will see me cycling for around 55 miles a day, other days I’ll cover 65 miles, but on two of the days I will cycle around 80 miles per day.”

“There was a shorter route that is 874 miles but I’m not doing that, I just want to get it done now though!”

Robert has a fundraising target of around £2,000 and has already raised £400.

You can sponsor him by visiting justgiving.com/Robert-Donald1.

Text BOBS73 with a donation of £1, £2, £5 or £10 to 70070, alternatively call 01358 268238.