Cyclist to ride ‘round globe’
A 50-YEAR-OLD man, who in his own words is “overweight”, is giving up everything to cycle round the world.
Paul Tolson, an ex-geography teacher from Chatteris, is selling most of his possessions to ride round the world visiting every gliding school.
He is breaking the globe up into stages, starting with Africa which he believes will be the toughest and could take two or even three years.
Paul, who is now working as an occupational therapist in the Lake District, went to Orton Longueville Primary School and returned to Peterborough as a geography teacher in the 1990s.
He said: “I hope to use the journey to challenge my own and other people’s perceptions about a number of topics including disability, the countries I shall be travelling through, the sport of gliding, and to show that you don’t have to be a fit 20 to 30-yearold to undertake a journey like this.
“An old couch-potato such as myself can do it as well - it just may take a little longer.”
Paul will begin his journey on July 1 in Wasserkuppe in Germany, the home of gliding. He then plans to head south to Morocco and across to Africa’s most northern point Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia.
He is calling his epic trip The Impossible Journey because he does not know if he will finish it.
In order to pay for it Paul has been saving for a few years as well as selling off most of his possessions.
He hopes the journey will raise funds and awareness for Handicap International, a cause close to his heart following his work in Cumbrian hospitals.
He said: “In my professional life over the last 10 years, I have become acutely aware of the discrimination and prejudice faced by people with disabilities.
“I hope I can learn more about the lives of disabled people in the different countries I shall be visiting around the world and that I can help to raise awareness of disability issues, rights and opportunities, as well as raise funds for charities involved in promoting these aims.”
Paul will be charting his progress on his website www.rideandglide.co.uk where it is also possible to sponsor him.
challenge: Paul Tolson who is a self-confessed ‘over-weight’ and unfit 50-year-old about to undertake an epic cycling challenge.