East Neuk cyclists prepare for Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge

Cath Baxter, from Largoward, is leading a team of cyclists from the East Neuk raising money for Alzheimers research.
Cath Baxter, from Largoward, is leading a team of cyclists from the East Neuk raising money for Alzheimers research.

A team of cyclists from the East Neuk starts a marathon cycle ride in aid of charity this spring.

The six men and women plan to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just 11 days in May to raise funds for Alzeheimer’s research.

The team is led by Largoward’s Cath Baxter, whose mother Liz was diagnosed with dementia in 2011.

Since then Cath has wanted to “do something” to help those affected by dementia by raising much-needed funds to aid ground-breaking work by Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Cath commented: “It is terrible to see someone you love so dearly start to lose their mental capacity. We take it all for granted – to be able to engage in meaningful conversation, to recall and share treasured memories… to know those closest and dearest to you.

“My mum is one of so many who are slowly losing those abilities. I just wanted to do something to help.”

The team’s target is to raise £21,000. Cath explained: “Alzheimer’s Research UK tells us that this will pay for an advanced microscope to allow scientists to identify and track crucial proteins in brain samples and spot new ways to stop the damage of dementia.”

Joining Cath on the 1407 kilometre journey are Pittenweem’s Toby Anstruther and Louisa and Mihai Cocris, Sally Lorimore from Newport and from Ceres, Robert Howarth, who have teamed up as ‘Bike For Brains’.

Cath said they had been training hard. “Robert is the only one in our team who has done this before – so he is helping us with advice on training, equipment and all of our preparations for the 100 mile-a-day trek.

“We started training last September – took a much- needed break to be with family and friends over Christmas - but have since cranked up our programme with training rides building in length and gradients over the coming weeks to prepare us for May.”

The six have set up a Just Giving page to enable friends, family, colleagues and supporters to donate to the cause. Donations can be made via: https://www.justgiving.com/bikeforbrains.

They are also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BikeForBrains) and Twitter (@BikeForBrains) where there will be updates on their training and the challenge.