Retired Director of Outdoor Activities, Steve Gorman and his wife Ali have taken on a gruelling charity cycling challenge to raise money for a local mental health organisation, Pepper’s- A Safe Place. They are cycling the 2034km National Cycle Route 1 from the Shetlands to Dover and started the ride on 1st August. They hope to complete the trip in three weeks.
The route follows the Eastern part of Scotland and England and is less well known than the Land’s End to John O’ Groats route which the pair have cycled previously.
‘We’re really looking forward to having a chance to explore more of our beautiful country,’ said Steve Gorman. ‘I love the ruggedness of Scotland and the Islands and Ali is looking forward to the coastal routes through Northumbria and Yorkshire as she’s hoping it will be a bit flatter!! She didn’t believe me though when I told her that we were going North to South as then it’s downhill all the way! We’ve not done a lot of training but hope that we’ll ease into it once we get started.’ The couple will be camping for much of the route, but with the occasional night indoors if the weather is particularly wet.
The ride will be a particular challenge for Ali, who 18 months ago could not get out of bed unaided. A diagnosis of Anklyosing Spondylitus, inflammatory arthritis of the spine, led to her being put on medication and exercises that 18 months later mean she is much more mobile and more pain-free.
‘We are so lucky to have Peppers in our local area, both in Melton Mowbray and Oakham. I know so many people now who are really suffering with their mental health. I think that a service that offers people such a lovely welcome and such great support can really help many people in our community,’ said Ali,’ And that’s why we want to try and raise as much money as we can to support what they are doing.’
Pepper’s- A Safe Place provides regular drop-in sessions for people to look after their mental health and re-connect with the community. They offer a friendly welcome, peer support, a chance to relax, have fun and meet others. They also offer a drop-in session for parents with young kids or babies and can support the community on a 1:1 basis through their Friendship Project. There’s never any shortage of tea, coffee, biscuits or welcoming volunteers.
If you would like to support Ali and Steve in their challenge for Pepper’s please donate via their just giving link.