Ray’s on his way to pedal 2,000 miles


Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

HOP­ING that 2,000 miles will roll un­der his feet, Ray Duffy is tak­ing on his big­gest cy­cle chal­lenge to date. All in hon­our of the hos­pi­tal that cared for him and his wife.

To­day (Wed­nes­day), 73-year-old Ray Duffy sets off on his epic solo ride across Aus­tralia. Cy­cling from west­ern Aus­tralia to the south, his route is go­ing to take him from Perth to Mar­garet River, onto Al­bany, through Esper­ance and Nores­man, and fi­nally into Ade­laide. A route a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to those around his home of Rick­mansworth.

Ex­pect­ing the ride to take four to five weeks, trav­el­ling 60 to 70 miles a day, it’s the big­gest chal­lenge Duffy has em­barked on, de­spite his var­ied ca­reer.

“I cy­cled with my wife this year, when we cy­cled from Royal Bromp­ton Hos­pi­tal to Harefield Hos­pi­tal, along the Grand Union Canal. I did that the year be­fore; that’s 26 miles, and this year I did it, but I wasn’t of­fi­cial. I cy­cled with my wife to en­cour­age her to come along. But 26 miles isn’t 2,000 miles”.

Although, he’s not set­ting out on this marathon just to gain the up­per hand on his wife, Sue’s suc­cess.

In an ef­fort to give some­thing back to the “re­mark­able place” that has ex­tended the lives of both him and his wife, Duffy’s aim is to raise £1000 for Harefield Trans­plant Ap­peal.

Hav­ing col­lapsed in 2013, Harefield hos­pi­tal treated both is­sues with his heart, and his lung can­cer. For Sue, a suc­cess­ful car­diac ab­la­tion has al­lowed her to con­tinue liv­ing an ac­tive life along­side her hus­band.

The Aus­tralian link stems from the his­tor­i­cal found­ing of the hos­pi­tal. The Aus­tralian-born Bill­yard Leakes fam­ily do­nated Harefield Park to the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment in 1915; it was to be used as a place of tem­po­rary refugee and heal­ing for in­jured Aus­tralians and New Zealan­ders dur­ing the First World War.

Fol­low­ing this, it was sold to the Mid­dle­sex County Coun­cil, where since it has been used for tu­ber­cu­lo­sis treat­ment, and more re­cently, heart and lung care.

Hop­ing to be­gin at dawn each day, Duffy is ex­pect­ing a se­ries of chal­lenges to roll in. Camp­ing on the route will have its own is­sues, but his fo­cus falls on the movement. He sees him­self “like a bird mi­grat­ing”, hav­ing to take weather and winds into ac­count. Although, hav­ing trav­elled the world be­fore, he knows what to ex­pect, and he knows that with any chal­lenge, he just has to “ride it out”.

Ray gets in some prac­tise be­fore head­ing Down Un­der for a 2,000-mile solo ride

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.