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York physiotherapist’s tandem cycle challenge in memory of virus victims
A senior NHS physiotherapist from York Hospital is gearing up to break the speed record for cycling the entire length of the country alone on a vintage tandem bike to honour those lost to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Scott Caul, from Heworth, has worked through the Covid-19 pandemic and witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by those affected by the virus. He decided to take on the 10-day, 1,000 mile cycle challenge from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands to raise money for local charities, York Teaching Hospital Charity and York Mind.
Scott said: “I will be riding alone on a tandem bike designed for two riders which causes a bit of a stir. It has a serious side as it symbolises the losses felt around the world but I get so many smiles from people. It's strange how many different expressions I see riding solo, some overjoyed, some bemused and some laughing and pointing. Society needs a good laugh at the moment and I hope to continue to put smiles on people's faces, even just for a few seconds. I may even strap a fluffy teddy companion to the back seat!”
The bike is a partially restored French ‘Metobecane Interclub’ model from 1971, and weighs roughly three times as much as a carbon bike. And, to add an extra element to the challenge, Scott is aiming to break the speed record for the gruelling route as well as raise £1000 for each charity.
Joe Fenton, Community Fundraiser at York Teaching Hospital Charity, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone at York Hospital, so we want to say a massive thank you to Scott for being such an inspiration during these difficult times. The money he raises will benefit many patients needing rehabilitation, making the hospital experience the best it can be.”
Holly Bilton, Fundraising Manager at York Mind, said: “We’re just so grateful to Scott for taking on this epic challenge and thinking to raise funds for York Mind. It’s a very tough time for mental health and for local charities, with many of our income sources interrupted and the need for support rising. We are already seeing the impact of the pandemic on York’s mental health, and with Scott’s help, we will be able to reach more people who need someone to turn to in the days ahead.”
Throughout the ride, Scott and his team of helpers will be adhering to the latest Coronavirus rules and regulations, maintaining social distancing, wearing masks where required and doing their best to keep everybody safe. They are not planning to stop in areas of local lockdown, and will adapt the route according based on the latest data and information.
Scott added: “When the going gets tough I will remember the challenges and pain people have been through to inspire me.”
To view Scott’s 10 day route and to make a donation, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/lejogsolotandem
For more information about York Mind, to fundraise or to make a donation, visit: www.yorkmind.org.uk
24 August 2020