Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Keen cyclist and adventurer Alistair Cope of Seaton, East Devon is embarking on a rather different challenge this year.
The 55-year-old father of three who runs Velo Vintage, is going to make his way from Edinburgh to Exmouth on an unsupported solo journey.
He will tow his flax covered canoe behind his bicycle until he finds water and then he’ll put his Pashley bike into the canoe and paddle!
Cope is no stranger to adventure for he circumnavigated the UK coastline by bicycle back in 2010 and came up with the idea for this venture a few years ago.
He has been busy working on the project with Flaxlands who have created a very specific flax covered canoe for the task.
Altogether it’s a journey of about 300 miles on water with 111 locks to negotiate and 390 miles on land that takes in part of the North York Moor. Everything will be carried in the canoe, including all of Alistair’s camping, cycling and canoeing equipment.
When asked: “how long will it take?” the intrepid adventurer replied: “About four weeks as, although I can really press on when cycling, canoeing this style of boat is quite slow. They’re going to be long days, but I am crossing most of middle England on water, so it should be fascinating”.
His route takes in Edinburgh, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, Doncaster, Nottingham, Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Gloucester, Exeter and Exmouth. He is due to start this Saturday (August, 17), and finish on Saturday, September 14.
Cope is raising funds for three charities. Headway, Devon and Exeter and the Royal Academy for Deaf Education are based near to him in Exeter and will get 90 per cent of the donations. He is also raising funds for Blesma and 10 per cent will be allocated to this charity that help men and women who have lost limbs and the use of limbs or the loss of eyesight in the service of our country.
You can donate and follow his progress via his website: www.papete.co.uk if you happen to be on his route, he apparently won’t turn down the offer of a bed, shower or even just a slice of cake if it is offered!
He has been supported and encouraged by two shops local to him in Devon: Saddles and Paddles of Exeter and Bikelands of Exmouth and he’s really grateful for their help!