Bob’s epic 5,000 mile cycle ride

Bob Wale plans to cycle around the coast of Great Britain.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Bob Wale plans to cycle around the coast of Great Britain.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A charity worker from Harborough plans to cycle an epic 5,000 miles around the coast of Britain to raise money for a hospice.

Bob Whale(62) from East Langton, near Market Harborough, expects the demanding bike ride will take him up to three months to complete.

Mr Whale hopes to raise at least £5,000 for the Cransley Hospice in Kettering.

“I’ve taken part in fund raising events for the Hospice before, and I’ve got a friend whose not got long to live, and these two factors made me think I’d really like to do something” he explained.

Mr Whale, who works for the National Autistic Society, is taking three months off work from August to complete the round-Britain cycle ride, which he will do solo, without any back-up support.

He will carry all his kit with him, including a lightweight tent.

“I’d like to take my guitar too, but it’s a little bit impractical” said Mr Whale, a keen musician.

“I’ve done Lands End to John O’Groats in the past, and I find you get fitter by the day” he added.

“By the time I got to the end of that one, I could have quite happily cycled back again.

“I’ve always wanted to have a go at cycling round Britain though, and now I’m 62 so it’s a case of now or never really.”

Mr Whale hopes to drop in to see his parents in Cornwall in “early to mid September”.

He also plans to stay with other friends, although he will be mainly camping to save money.

He says a long-distance cyclists worst enemies are headwinds and saddle-soreness.

“My worst day on the Lands End to John O’ Groats ride was cycling across Dartmoor in the worst weather since 1888’’ he said. “The rain was laughably torrential.”

Debbie Grant, from Cransley Hospice’s fundraising team, said: “We’re always humbled when people from the local community get involved in raising money.

“It’s because of people like Bob that we can offer the services that we do.”

The small Cransley Hospice, on London Road, Kettering, is partly funded by the NHS, but still requires £800,000 a year in funding to keep going.

The nine-bed in-patient unit provides specialist palliative care for people with life-limiting illnesses.

In addition, patients can be seen in the outpatient clinic or at home by staff specialising in palliative care.