A Bideford man is gearing up for a 300-mile bike ride across England, which retraces his weekly commute.
Retired IT systems engineer Clive England is journeying from his home in Bideford to Haywards Heath in West Sussex, where his dad lives.
The 58-year-old will be fundraising ahead of the cycle ride for Alzheimer’s Research UK, after his father, Norman, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
On his journey, Clive will cycle via Reading, a route he drove each week for 17 years, and will be joined along that stage of the route by former colleagues.
Clive hoped to raise £5 for every mile he will ride, totalling £1,500 – a total which he has already exceeded.
Clive said: “My dear old dad, who is 89, started showing memory problems about eight or nine years ago.
“It was around the time his wife Maureen died, she had been keeping him going up to that point.
“She had done most of the domestic things around the house so when she passed away he really struggled to look after and himself.
“We arranged for him to have a companion, which meant he could go out for lunch and to the Rotary and golf clubs like he used to.
“It made a huge difference for a while, however his condition has declined quite a lot, he struggles in social situations and his mobility has gone downhill, so his companion now lives with him in order to support him.”
Clive, who enjoys cycling and takes part in cycle sportifs several times a year, has said this is the longest riding challenge he has ever undertaken but one he has had his eye on for a while.
He added: “I’ve been toying with doing this ride since I retired last year because the route was such a big part of my life for so long and there are some really nice cycle routes along the way.
“This coupled with the fact that I’m interested in dementia research has meant I’ve made this into a fundraising ride for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
“I will replicate my weekly journey which used to involve me travelling from my home in Bideford on a Monday or a Tuesday to work in Reading.
“Then I’d go on to my dad’s and work remotely from there. It meant we could go out for dinner one evening each week before I travelled home again on a Thursday or Friday.”
Clive will ride around 40 to 50 miles a day but has said this is more of a journey for him rather than a race so doesn’t aim to complete it in a set time.
He is inviting people to join him along the route by emailing email@example.com or keep up with his progress via his Facebook page on www.facebook.com/CNEngland
James Warren, regional fundraising officer for the South West, said: “Clive’s former commute was a long one so to do that by bike and in support of dementia research is an incredible undertaking.
“His motivation to support Alzheimer’s Research UK is a personal one and sadly his experience of seeing a loved one living with dementia is not uncommon with 850,000 people living with the condition in the UK.
To sponsor Clive visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/d2dh