Game Mally gears up to be flush with success
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