Charity worker plans round-Britain bike ride for Cransley Hospice in Kettering

Bob Whale plans to cycle around the coast of Great Britain
Bob Whale plans to cycle around the coast of Great Britain

A charity worker plans to cycle almost 5,000 miles around the coast of Britain to raise money for Cransley Hospice.

Bob Whale, 62, of East Langton, near Market Harborough, expects the demanding bike ride will take him up to three months to complete.

I’d like to take my guitar too, but it’s a little bit impractical.

Bob Whale

Mr Whale hopes to raise at least £5,000 for Cransley Hospice in Kettering.

He said: “I’ve taken part in fundraising events for the hospice before, and I’ve got a friend who’s not got long to live, and these two factors made me think I’d really like to do something.”

Mr Whale, who works for the National Autisic Society, is taking three months off work from August to complete the round-Britain cycle ride, which he will do solo, without any back-up support.

He will carry all his kit with him, including a lightweight tent.

“I’d like to take my guitar too, but it’s a little bit impractical” said Mr Whale, a keen musician.

“I’ve done Land’s End to John O’Groats in the past, and I find you get fitter by the day.

“By the time I got to the end of that one, I could have quite happily cycled back again.

“I’ve always wanted to have a go at cycling round Britain though, and now I’m 62 so it’s a case of now or never really.”

Mr Whale hopes to drop in to see his parents in Cornwall in “early to mid September”.

He also plans to stay with other friends, although he will be mainly camping to save money.

He says a long-distance cyclist’s worst enemies are headwinds and saddle-soreness.

He said: “My worst day on the Land’s End to John O’ Groats ride was cycling across Dartmoor in the worst weather since 1888. The rain was laughably torrential.”

Debbie Grant, from Cransley Hospice’s fundraising team, said: “We’re always humbled when people from the local community get involved in raising money.

“It’s because of people like Bob that we can offer the services that we do.”

Cransley Hospice, in London Road, is partly funded by the NHS but still requires £800,000 a year in funding to keep going.

The nine-bed in-patient unit provides specialist palliative care for people with life-limiting illnesses.

In addition, patients can be seen in the outpatient clinic or at home by staff specialising in palliative care.