SkemNews received the following account from Skelmersdale resident Tony Reid of his charity cycle ride from Hull to Ormskirk Hospital. Tony undertook this solo cycle ride to raise funds for St John’s Ambulance. The following is Tony’s own account of his charity cycle ride:
During the late spring of 2022 I cycled alone from Hull on the east coast to my local hospital in Ormskirk Lancashire to try & ‘raise funds’ for St John’s Ambulance service. Here is a short account of my journey.
I took a 6.00am train from Wigan to Hull with my bicycle. I arrived at Hull’s main train station about 10.00 am. I set off towards Lancashire immediately. The first 12 or 14 miles out of Hull were on a dual carriageway (A63) & it was ‘the scariest road’ I’ve ever cycled on. Very very dangerous with 1 in 4 car drivers ‘giving me abuse’ with their car horns believing that as a cyclist I had no right to be on the road at all. The behaviour of such drivers to cyclist leaves a lot to be desired.
I knew I would have to cross the Pennines & my plan was to overcome them on the first day, so I’d booked a small hotel in Huddersfield for that night’s stopover which I paid for out of my own pocket not ‘sponsorship monies.’ Well, I arrived in Huddersfield later than I’d anticipated very tired from covering most of the Pennines & I couldn’t find my hotel. Asking directions from locals sent me in the wrong direction several times & the phone number I had for them was ‘invalid’.
I gave up trying to find the hotel about half past midnight & resigned myself to sleeping out in the open. I found some materials in a nearby building skip & made the best bed I could amongst some shrubbery on a grass verge. I was so tired I ‘went out like a light!!’ and managed 4 hours sleep setting off again at about 5.00 am. I was very pleased my bicycle was still with me when I awoke because I had not brought a lock & chain with me. Progress was slower than the first day and when I had finally overcome all the Pennines, I reached the crest of a hill and found myself looking down on Oldham,’ all downhill’ for 3 or 4 miles. It was like ‘coming to an oasis!!’
I’d learnt that my map reading had not been too good while referencing a road atlas before the start of my journey and I didn’t have a SAT-NAV. The photocopied pages I carried were not always contiguous and a couple of pages were missing. I knew I simply had to cross Manchester then it was all ‘plain sailing’ down a cycle path from Salford to Ormskirk Hospital. I arrived at the hospital late in the afternoon on the second day.
I managed to raise £316 for St Johns Ambulance. I plan to do a much longer ride next spring to try and raise a bit of money for Motor Neurone Disease, but I’ll avoid any more mountains because I’ve had a triple heart bypass.
I am so pleased to be of some small help to St John’s Ambulance.