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One man, one tent, one bicycle and 6000 miles


12:00am 1st May 2011

One man, one tent, one bicycle and 6000 miles

Bob Jones, 65, is celebrating his retirement by cycling anticlockwise around the coasts of England, Scotland and Wales, raising money and awareness for two charities very close to his heart - The Stroke Association and the Meningitis Research Foundation. On 3 May, he will pass through East Riding of Yorkshire.

Bob, from Suffolk, is hoping to raise £6,000 between the two charities. He was hit by meningitis in 1996 whilst his partner of 19 years, Bundy Mackintosh, 60, suffered a severe stroke in February 2009 causing detrimental effects to both her speech and writing abilities.

Otherwise fit and healthy, with no underlying health problems a stroke was the last thing on Bundy's mind as she prepared for a psychology lecture she was scheduled to give the following day. A stroke is a brain attack, it is indiscriminate, and can happen to anyone at any time, often resulting in life-changing consequences.

Bob says:

'One of the charities for which I hope to raise £3,000 is The Stroke Association, which funds research into prevention, treatment and better methods of rehabilitation, and helps stroke survivors and their families directly through its Life After Stroke Services up and down the country. Here in Suffolk there are five Stroke Association support groups with three new additional groups starting up in January'

Bob knows only too well the devastating effects of suffering a debilitating illness having spent two weeks in hospital with his joints locked solid after having contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia. With the stiffness he still occasionally experiences as a result of the meningitis his upcoming ride becomes even more of a personal challenge.

Covering a gruelling distance of 6000 miles, Bob's adventure will begin on Saturday 30th April and is likely to take him just short of 100 days.  He plans to visit some 600 ports and harbours en route, as part of his love for and continuing research into the history of Britain's harbours.  

The unaccompanied trip will start and finish at the Port of Ipswich, where Bob worked for 21 years between 1969 and 1990. He plans to keep as close to the coast as possible, and will be including a number of islands, including Orkney, Skye, Mull and Anglesey.

Bob hopes to raise awareness as well as funds for The Stroke Association and the Meningitis Research. To follow Bob's journey, read his blog here

A stroke is a brain attack which occurs because of a clot or a bleed in the brain, causing brain cells to die. Each year, one person has a stroke every five minutes in the UK. For further information about stroke or The Stroke Association, please contact the Stroke Information Service on 0303 30 33 100, or visit here

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