Pedalling for Parkinson’s – my four-day fundraising trike trek

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Fundraiser: Tim Devereux, of Pudsey.

Pudsey man Tim Devereux has cycled from Leeds to Glasgow on a tricycle to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. He’s so far raised more than £1,000 in memory of his brother. Here’s the story of his trek in his own words:

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 249 miles from Leeds to Glasgow over four days’ camping en-route.

Yesterday (27 July 2023) I arrived in Glasgow after four days riding – 49 hours 30 minutes, two 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 three Ben Nevis’s, maybe I’d have chosen a different route!

Day one

Day one was wet, setting out from Pudsey heading for Dent in North Yorkshire. The route included the Settle Nipple Hill, three 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! In the gloom of the evening, I thought there were sheep on the road – no, just weeds growing in the middle of track.

Tim Devereux

Day two

Day two took me from Dent to Dalston. 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! I used my phone for navigation and had to conserve the battery carefully despite taking two power packs. I’d got to the campsites too late to find where to charge up!

Day three

Day three, Dalston to Moffat, was a change of plan – I realised that the 80 miles I’d scheduled for the last day was simply beyond me, so I re-routed and booked a hotel to cut 20 miles from day four. I feel I made a sensible decision!

A sketch of Tim’s late brother, Tom Devereux

Day four

Moffat to Kirkintilloch began with a six-mile slog up the Devil’s Beeftub, which kept flattening deceptively, only to go up some more. I felt out of sorts, only managing 16 miles in three hours, and it was a chat with a fellow cyclist at a coffee stop that bucked me up.

Smooth cycle tracks were a boon too! It turned out to be my fastest day – the roads through Glasgow were busy but not steep.

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? I stopped for coffee at the Crown in Shap – one of the customers gave £10, the landlord wouldn’t let me pay, and as I left, a young couple were scanning the website QR on the trikes fairing.

Buoyed up by caffeine and kindness, the next few miles rolled by. Cyclists worry about close passes by motor traffic – but in 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 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.

To all who helped me along the way with encouragement and donations – I am unbelievably grateful – thank you so much!!! The total now is £1,091 and it’s not too late to donate here.

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