874-mile challenge to boost charities
Two causes for charities thousands of miles apart are spurring a cyclist on in his mammoth challenge.
Patrick Scott-graham from Bath is taking on the 874 mile ride from John O’groats to Land’s End to raise money for Julian House, helping those where he’s from and Five Ways House in Hualien, Taiwan where he lives and works now. Having set off from the tip of Scotland on August 27, he hopes to reach the Cornish coast on Wednesday or Thursday this week. Patrick is riding on his own but has picked up fellow cyclists along the way for company and support and help when he’s got lost. The chosen charities both help marginalised and disadvantaged people and all money raised will to the two causes. Patrick said: “The money raised will be shared equally between the two charities. It will not be spent on bike repairs, accommodation, energy bars, bananas, deep-fried Mars bars, Cornish pasties or anything else related to my trip.” Having used Julian House’s bike workshop on numerous occasions which he calls a “real gem”, Patrick says it is a “very personal reason to support their work”. He has been living in Taiwan, teaching English for the past seven years near the Five Ways House, which like Julian House, provides young people with opportunities to develop skills for use in later life. Patrick set himself a target of £750 and says supporting the charities has spurred him on through the darker moments. He said: “It’s been a tough trip but fun. I had never really explored Scotland before so that has been a real pleasure. People are very friendly there and the land is beautiful. Many people have stopped me and asked me where I’m going, and if I’m raising for charity. I have been very glad to take a break from my solitary pedalling and talk with them. A particularly friendly Scottish woman I met in a highland town donated money to me on the spot when I told her what I was doing.” He admits it has been tough: “I’ve had a few rainy days; a number of problems with various parts of my dad’s 25-year-old bike; long days with bouts of loneliness; frustration early in my trip at realising I’m riding into the prevailing wind by riding north to south and multiple instances of getting lost and feeling like I’m going around in circles! “The fundraising aspect has added an extra dimension to make this trip have a positive impact on others’ lives as well as my own. “I hope by spreading the word about my trip, I might motivate other people to try out their own adventure and think of ways they might create a positive impact on others through their endeavours.” To donate to Patrick’s efforts, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/patrick-s-g