David comes home for start of charity cycle

Cyclist David Carr
Cyclist David Carr

a MAN who was born and bred in Berwickshire is looking forward to returning to his homeland for an ambitious charity mission later this month.

David Carr was born in Paxton and went to the village primary school and latterly Berwickshire High School, before moving to Newcastle to complete an apprenticeship in engineering.

David has stayed in Tyneside ever since, now living in Gateshead, but he gets back up to the Borders to see his friends and relatives when he can.

As a youngster he loved fishing on the river Tweed and he will get a perfect view of his old stomping ground when he sets off on an 80 mile long cycle from the Chain Bridge on Sunday, August 28 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

It is the third in a trio of fundraising events that 63-year-old David lined up to raise money for the important cause, although his quest has suffered a number of setbacks in the past year.

The first event in the series was due to be the Great North Swim but unfortunately all of David’s training for the Lake Windemere event last year went to waste as it was cancelled at the last minute due to poisonous algae in the water.

And he didn’t get into the water this year either as his practice sessions were severely hampered by a chest infection he picked up.

He did however get on his bike to complete the Great North Cycle from Seahouses to Tynemouth last year, raising £800 in the process.

And he’s been back in the pedals already this summer to take part in the Northern Rock Cyclone event which covered 67 miles, starting and finishing at Newcastle Falcons’ home ground, Kingston Park.

David is adamant that he won’t accept any money until he’s completed all three events though, which means he’s hoping it will be a case of third time lucky for the Great North Swim next year.

But in the meantime his thoughts are fixed on his 80 mile cycle on August 28, which will start at the Chain Bridge and then join up with the Great North Cycle at Seahouses.

“I was really upset that after seeing the event cancelled last year I was unable to do the Great North Swim this year,” David told The Berwickshire News.

“I’d struggled all spring with a chest infection and it was really affecting my training to the point where I had to pull out.

“This spurred me on even more to do the Northern Rock cyclone which was 67 miles long. I’d never cycled that far in my life and by God the course was hilly! It went up to Longframlington then on to near Rothbury and Otterburn before coming back down through Matfen and finishing back at Kingston Park.

“There were members of bike clubs and serious racers taking part, some of whom completed it in around three hours. I did it in 7 hours 11 minutes but was just glad to get round!”

David is hoping to complete his August 26 cycle in just over eight hours which means he’ll have an early start, but he said he didn’t mind because he was excited to be on familiar territory and have a chance to take in the scenery.

He continued: “I’m hoping to get started at 6am but before I get going I’ve promised my brother in Australia that I’ll take a few pictures of me on the Chain Bridge to send to him.

“My son’s also going to be playing the bagpipes when I set off to give things a proper Scottish feel.

“I can’t wait to be on the banks of the Tweed once again. I went to a funeral with my younger brother in Edinburgh recently and met a few people from our school days. Getting talking to them fetched back plenty memories and when I retire I’m definitely going to come up here, get the rod out and have another go at that trout!

“I’m getting on a bit but doing these events is better than just sitting in the house all day. We always get warnings to keep ourselves healthy and this is my way of doing that.”

If you want to support David email your fundraising pledge to dave.pledge4macmillan@zytronic.co.uk.