Exmouth pensioner completes 400-mile cycle challenge

PUBLISHED: 12:30 22 October 2017

Bill Mackie, who completed a near 400-mile cycle from Rosscoff to Paris for charity

Bill Mackie, who completed a near 400-mile cycle from Rosscoff to Paris for charity

Archant

Bill Mackie, 75, of Ellwood Road, cycled from Rosscoff in northern France in Paris, raising money for hurricane victims.

Armed with just a second-hand bike, a clarinet and a fiddle, an Exmouth pensioner has completed a near 400 mile cycle challenge.

Bill Mackie, 75, of Ellwood Road, was diagnosed with heart problems last year and had been looking for a way to test whether his heart would stand up to a physical challenge.

Using a bike he found at a recycling centre, Bill cycled from Rosscoff in northern France, to Paris, covering between 600 and 700 kilometres over six days, raising funds for the Rotary Club of Exmouth.

Bill, who had previously cycled to the Pyrenees Mountains, said it was only a matter of days before the cycle that he decided to do it for the club, which is gathering money to send to hurricane victim charity Shelterbox.

He added: “I got fed up feeling fatigued and thought I should try a long cycle.

“I first though I would cycle to Gibraltar but then thought it may be a bit far in my condition and in any case I’ve cycled part of the route before. So then I decided to try Roscoff to Paris.

“I met the Rotary Club members in the centre of Exmouth who were collecting for the hurricane victims that I decided to make it a sponsored ride.”

He strapped a clarinet, a fiddle and two pannier bags to his bike and set off from Rosscoff.

Bill completed the ride solo despite what he called ‘jabbing pains’ over the hills and also lost the use of his milometer for part of his journey.

Once he completed the challenge, he had intended to cycle back to Rosscoff, but holiday plans changed that.

Bill added: “My original plan was to cycle back from Paris but my wife Gloria said she would like to meet me in Roscoff and have a little holiday which meant I was now pressed for time and the easiest thing was to get the train from Paris for part of the journey back.”

Anyone wanting to donate to Bill has until the end of the month. To donate go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bill-mackie-2

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