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North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Cyclist begins 4,500km charity ride around the UK

ByPeter Barron

Nov 26, 2021

AN INTREPID cyclist has set off on an attempt to circumnavigate the UK via every national park to raise funds for two deserving charities.

Toby Simpson, who lives in Darlington, will spend the next few weeks cycling around the country while passing through all 15 of the UK’s national parks – a distance of 4,400km.

The determined 25-year-old is raising money for the BRCA Protect Research Clinic, which works to improve prediction and prevention of cancers, and for the Walk & Talk Trust, which promotes the mental and physical benefits of walking and talking outdoors.

Toby said: “I’m feeling very excited this morning. It’s been a long time coming.  It’s meant a lot of training through the long winter, lots of cold dark mornings, but I’ve got a glorious day to set off on this little adventure.

“I’ve never done anything like this before, so I’m a little nervous, but all the suffering will be in aid of two great charities, so we’ll see what happens, and hopefully I’ll be back in 40 days’ time!”

Toby promised to grow a moustache for the ride if supporters donated £1,000. When this milestone was passed, he offered to bleach his hair if the total reached £4,400 – a pound for each kilometre he will cycle during the ride.

The total figure now stands at more than £6,300 to be split between the two charities, and Toby is both bleached and moustached.

Toby left on the day of his parent’s wedding anniversary, and hopes to be back in time to celebrate his grandparents’ diamond wedding anniversary.

Geoff Simpson, Toby’s dad, said: “Toby has set himself a real challenge. His knees aren’t the best after years of rugby, so he’s got a stern test ahead of him.

“We’re just wishing him the best of luck, and hopefully he’ll be back intact soon, which will please his mum.”

To support Toby’s fundraising, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/yorkshire2asia/1