Game Mally gears up to be flush with suc­cess

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­

A WOMAN from Mull is about to set off on a cy­cling epic which will take her the en­tire length and breadth of Bri­tain – to celebrate her birth­day and raise money at the same time.

Bas­ket-maker and for­mer nurse, Mally Gower, will set off from Cornwall on Au­gust 27 to em­bark on a 1,500-mile jour­ney that will take up to eight weeks to com­plete.

She will celebrate her 60th birth­day en route, on the first day of Oc­to­ber.

Her trip on a Koga tour­ing bike will take her to the four com­pass points of Bri­tain: that is the far­thest points north, south, east and west.

Start­ing from The Lizard in Cornwall, she will head east to Low­est­oft, west to Ard­na­mur­chan, then north to Dun­net Head, in­clud­ing Land’s End and John O’Groats en route.

In 2012, Mally was knocked off her bike on the A6 in Der­byshire which left her with a bro­ken and dis­lo­cated left hip. She is wait­ing for a hip re­place­ment, but re­mains un­de­terred.

‘I’m not a great lover of par­ties, so I de­cided to do some­thing spe­cial to celebrate turn­ing 60 in­stead,’ Mally said. ‘I’m hop­ing peo­ple will join me at var­i­ous points. My aim is to get back home be­fore the clocks turn back.’

Mally’s other goal is to raise enough money in spon­sor­ship to twin 60 toi­lets through char­ity ini­tia­tive, Toi­let Twin­ning, which pro­vides proper toi­lets, clean wa­ter and hy­giene ed­u­ca­tion in some of the poor­est na­tions.

For £60, peo­ple can twin their toi­let with one in a poor na­tion, and they re­ceive a cer­tifi­cate show­ing their twin, with its photo and GPS co- or­di­nates.

Mally, who is a Quaker, added: ‘Hav­ing a toi­let is such a ba­sic need and we are just so lucky to have toi­lets, when so many peo­ple in the world don’t.

‘We moan about public toi­lets in this coun­try, but they are still pretty good com­pared with what many peo­ple in the world have. I will need toi­lets on my route – and that’s go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing – but it will at least keep me fo­cused.’

Mally moved only re­cently from Der­byshire to north Mull ‘for a sim­pler way of life’.

She has re­cently un­der­taken a va­ri­ety of sea­sonal work to raise money for her tour, in­clud­ing a stint at Duart castle, and she is also teaches bas­ketry.

Mally regularly cy­cles 12 miles a day but is hop­ing to av­er­age 50 miles a day on her cy­cle tour, to al­low for a few days off. To celebrate her 50th birth­day, she walked coast to coast for land­mine clear­ance char­ity, MAG.

CHAIN RE­AC­TION: Mally Gower is set to pedal 1500 miles to celebrate her birth­day and raise money for a wor­thy cause

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