Storm Ali couldn’t blow dad off course

Brave Land’s End to John O’Groats cy­clist

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Talking Politics - Ian Bunting

An in­trepid Plains dad-of­five got on his bike to cy­cle an as­ton­ish­ing 950 miles in 11 days for char­ity.

Not even the de­struc­tive Storm Ali could stop Graeme Pat­ter­son in his tracks as he braved harsh weather con­di­tions to com­plete his Land’s End to John O’Groats jour­ney.

Keen cy­clist Graeme, 37, was firmly in the sad­dle as he took part in the spon­sored cy­cle to col­lect funds for the MS So­ci­ety.

Graeme’s dad James, 61, has had mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis for 30 years and this was the lat­est in a se­ries of fundrais­ers de­signed to help the fight against the de­myeli­nat­ing disease that af­fects the ner­vous sys­tem.

Graeme, a mem­ber of Air­drie Cy­cling Club, was joined on his 950mile trek by friend Phil Brown, from Peter­bor­ough, who raised funds for Kid­ney Re­search UK.

Graeme told the Ad­ver­tiser: “We man­aged to com­plete the 950-mile cy­cle in 11 days, with 44,000 feet of climb­ing cov­er­ing Eng­land, Wales and Scot­land.

“It was very tough at times, es­pe­cially when Storm Ali hit and we were get­ting pushed off our bikes by the wind.

“The hard­est part, though, was when I came home for a night and then had to say good­bye to my wife and kids the next morn­ing as I cy­cled off into the rain.

“But it was an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence over­all; we stopped ev­ery night, and for lunch each day, and took in some stun­ning scenery.

“The fur­thest we cy­cled in a day was 80 miles; the weather was dry un­til we got into Scot­land and then the rain came down and we got soak­ing wet!”

But the test­ing trek had a fan­tas­tic fi­nale as Graeme was sur­prised by wife Anna and chil­dren Re­bekah, Ju­dith, Ben, Samuel and Leah at the fin­ish­ing line.

He said: “My kids took the day off school and Anna brought them to John O’Groats to greet me at the end of the trip.

“It was won­der­ful see­ing them there and it made fin­ish­ing the cy­cle feel even bet­ter.”

Graeme has raised an im­pres­sive £4700 from his char­ity cy­cle – with dona­tions still wel­come – which takes the over­all to­tal he has col­lected for the MS So­ci­ety to al­most £9000.

He said: “I’ve done 10ks, as well as 5ks with my wife and kids, in the past and it’s all about do­ing all I can for the char­ity.

“Rais­ing aware­ness about mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis is also im­por­tant as many look at peo­ple with the disease and think they are fine; but noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.

“My dad was di­ag­nosed 30 years ago and has fought very strongly, al­though he is strug­gling a lit­tle bit now and has to use a walk­ing stick.

“My orig­i­nal fundrais­ing tar­get for the char­ity cy­cle was £2000 but that was smashed dur­ing the first week.

“The cur­rent to­tal is £4700 and I am ab­so­lutely de­lighted with that; I’d like to thank ev­ery­one who has do­nated to the cause.”

Any­one who would like to con­trib­ute to Graeme’s fundrais­ing cam­paign can visit www.just­giv­ing. com/ Graeme- Pater­son3? utm_ source=Sharethis&utm_

For fur­ther de­tails on the MS So­ci­ety and its work, go on­line to www.msso­ci­

Wel­come sur­prise Graeme’s wife Anna and chil­dren Re­bekah, Ju­dith, Ben, Samuel and Leah met him in John O’Groats at the end of his trek

In gear to suc­ceed Keen cy­clist Graeme has col­lected £4700 dur­ing his lat­est fundraiser

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