On the 24th July, Dr Mark Warren, aged 49 from Bredon near Tewkesbury, will be attempting to cycle 1173 miles to raise funds for Event Mobility – the Pershore-based charity that loans mobility scooters and wheelchairs at nationwide events.
As Mark has just turned 50, he has decided to attempt a significant challenge on his bicycle to remember the occasion. As a serious amateur, Mark has ridden on and off road for many years and has a passion for cycling in general. He has completed charity rides in the past but has never attempted anything as extreme as this challenge. Mark will be cycling over 100 miles each day, back-to-back, with the aim of reaching John O'Groats within 11 days. By choosing to ride north he has the extra challenge of tackling over 60,000ft of cumulative elevation as he negotiates multiple ascents and descents. Aiming to arrive at the most northerly point in the UK on 3rd August, Mark plans to raise over £5,000 for Event Mobility with the help of its partner scooter supplier, TGA Mobility.
Event Mobility is a registered national charity, established in 1999 which provides access to shows and events for disabled, elderly and mobility impaired people through the short-term loan of electric scooters and manual wheelchairs. The charity was founded by Bryan Lupton who was diagnosed in 1995 with MS and could no longer enjoy 'walking the cross-country course' at Badminton Horse Trials. With the use of a loaned mobility scooter he was once again able to enjoy this experience and which sparked the idea for Event Mobility. The charity now provides a fleet of 300 mobility scooters and 100 manual wheelchairs for well-known events such as The British Grand Prix, The Ryder Cup and Glastonbury. The majority of scooters available are supplied by the product specialist TGA Mobility, including the Breeze S4 which is famous for winning the extreme scooter challenge on BBC’s Top Gear programme.
Mark explains why he has chosen to raise funds for Event Mobility: "One of my local friends is the Chair of the Event Mobility Board of Trustees – Mike Harrison. I explained to him I was looking to raise funds for a smaller charity that still had a national impact. With its local connections to me Event Mobility was therefore the perfect choice. Their small team do an amazing job and deserve a boost, especially as they continue to push the boundaries of mobility. I see the work they do first hand and the huge difference it makes, without their services so many events would not be accessible for all. My end-to-end challenge aims to give the charity an injection of investment so they can expand their scooter fleet and provide independence to even more event and festival goers."
Mark will be using routes that are part of the National Cycle Network which is maintained by the charity Sustrans. This involves higher mileage however the benefits include cycling on quieter roads and designated paths, all enhanced by scenic views. He will be supported by his family in a motorhome who will meet him at the end of each daily stage so that he can prepare for the next 100 miles. Leaving Land's End at 8am on day one, Mark's itinerary will include: Churchtown, Dulverton, Berkeley, Bridgnorth, Bury, Kings Meaburn, Abingdon, Strathyre, Aviemore, Lairg and concluding at John O'Groats.
This gruelling schedule is not being underestimated by Mark: "People have said to me that this challenge is like asking a runner to do back-to-back marathons for 11 days. Hence I have been putting some serious training so that I have the strength and stamina to successfully complete the distance on my Tifosi road bike. I'll be collecting donations as I go but I would like to encourage everyone to donate to the Event Mobility Just Giving Page. Whatever can be spared will help Event Mobility continue to meet the growing demand for independent mobility."
Daniel Stone, TGA Mobility Managing Director adds: "We are delighted to be sponsoring Mark's challenge with donations and free PR so that awareness and funds are maximised. It is a commendable effort by him and we wish him luck with this challenging endeavour. The availability of our quality TGA mobility scooters for loan at large events is essential in terms of accessibility and inclusion. Therefore, we are 100% behind Mark's challenge that will help expand Event Mobility's services so that more disabled and elderly people can experience events in comfort and without hassle."
Donations can be placed at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/event-mobility/landsendcycle2018