A keen Coldstream cyclist has clocked up more than 7000 miles to raise money for a charity very close to his heart.
Rob Smith, 70, has raised money for MND Scotland (Motor Neurone Disease) every year for more than a decade.
“I lost my cousin Andrew Rennie, a farmer from Kelso, to Motor Neurone Disease (MND),” Rob explained.
“We were the same age. I wanted to do something in his memory and to help sufferers and the only thing I could think to do was get on my bike. “I’ve done something every year to raise money, usually involving cycling. I’ve cycled in Egypt, India, Vietnam and local events as well.
“All my fundraising has been achieved through cycling, although I have run 10k races and zip wired across the Clyde just for a change!
“So far I estimate to have raised approximately £35000 single-handedly for the charity.
“This time, I wanted to do something a bit different.”
Rob set himself the challenge of cycling 7000 miles from January 1 until December 31 and has already achieved his goal.
In between working full time at W.E.Howden in Coldstream, Rob achieved the impressive mileage after work and at weekends.
“Most charity challenges are over and done with in a short space of time. i.e. zip wiring, swimming or parachute jumping,” he said.
“This challenge is unique because of its length of time and the sheer effort required to complete it. Many younger than myself may have struggled with this one.
“I hit the target last Wednesday evening.
“I finish work at around 5pm and then head out on the bike. It’s fine in the summer, but not so much now it has got colder! I’ve being doing the miles on an indoor cycling machine. I normally do about 20 miles in the evening.”
And there is no rest for Rob at the weekends.
A member of both the Kelso Wheelers and Coldstream Premier Cru Cycling Club, Rob has been joined by friends on some rides, clocking an impressive 50-60 miles on Saturdays and Sundays.
“This has been my biggest effort to date – I have kept a record of all my mileages, calories burned, height climbed and hours in the saddle,” he said.
And it’s a VERY impressive list!
Rob has ranked 7111 miles over 432 days, burning over 159,000 calories.
Rob’s hardwork is nearly over and now it is the turn of kind-hearted locals to help support MND sufferers.
“The fundraising has been slow but steady,” Rob continued. “This is an appeal to everyone to be generous and recognise the effort I have made. “There is a sponsor form in my shop, W.E. Howden in Coldstream, and I also have a Just Giving page up and running.
“I would like to thank everyone who have donated so far but all the donations received this year are way down compared with previous years.
“There is so far no cure for MND. Lets hope one is found soon. Hopefully my efforts will bring awareness to everyone and they can help me to support such a worthwhile cause.”
To donate, visit Rob’s Just Giving page or pop into W.E. Howden to add your name to the sponsor form.