Coldstream’s Rob Smith has raised over £25,000 for Motor Neurone Disease research by doing an annual fundraiser in memory of the cousin he lost to the disease 12 years ago.
This year’s fundraiser involves Rob cycling a mere 1,000 miles between August 1 and September 11, the final 120 miles of this marathon effort as part of the annual Pedal for Scotland event, cycling between Glasgow to Edinburgh with the riders, then carrying on to Coldstream.
The classic Pedal for Scotland challenge is now in its 19th year, and last year over 6,500 participants took part in the 45 mile Glasgow to Edinburgh ride. This year’s event takes place on September 10. There are three rest stops dotted along the route, which takes the cyclists via Linlithgow, with entertainment and stalls at the finish in Edinburgh.
For Rob, however, a 45 mile cycle ride was not enough of a challenge, despite the fact that he is now 68-years-old.
“I do something every year, I always do,” said Rob, whose cousin Andrew suffered from the disease.
A keen cyclist who rides with Kelso Wheelers he set his sights on a 1,000 mile cycle ride - although it wasn’t long before he was regretting settling on 1,000 instead of 500 miles.
“What brings it into perspective is that I’m 68 and working full time,” he added.
Rob runs Howden’s pet shop on Coldstream High Street, spending six days a week either delivering orders across the Borders and north Northumberland or in the shop.
Every day after he finishes work Rob gets on his bike and off he goes to add up more miles over the next couple of hours - averaging around 180 miles a week.
“My total mileage for the first week was 180.2 miles,” said Rob. “This is being tracked by Garmin and can be verified on Strava so there’s no way I can cheat.
“I will not let anyone down, so please keep the donations and sponsorship coming in - I do the work, you do the easy bit!
“If everyone only donated £1 that would raise thousands....and it might be your pound which finds the cure to this terrible disease.”
At the beginning of this week Rob had clocked up 735.4 miles so he is well on track to complete the 1,000 mile target at the Pedal for Scotland cycling challenge on September 10, however, he has given himself until September 11 to complete the challenge.
“I can now see a hint of light towards the end of the tunnel,” he said.
To donate to the cause so close to Rob’s heart and help him achieve his target go to his Justgiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rob-smith55