Richard Burt a 62-year-old man from Solihull is embarking on a 100 climb cycle-a-thon today and is hoping every pedal will help reach his £50,000 target for Dementia UK, in honour of his mum Peggy.
The challenge’s main sponsor Sanctuary Care has rallied behind Richard from the very beginning – from donating more than £5,000 towards the challenge. Richard took some time out to speak to Dementia UK before he embarked on his challenge…
What is the 100 climb challenge?
Richard: The challenge is based on Simon Warren’s book – ‘100 Greatest Cycling Climbs’ and I’m planning to cycle all 100 hills, which are located throughout the UK, in a record-breaking 12 days. From Wales and the Scottish Highlands, to Devon and London, I’ll be hitting counties throughout the UK, climbing up to 12 hills a day with many days involving over 13 hours of cycling and travelling.
Why are you raising money for Dementia UK?
Richard: I’m carrying out the mammoth task on behalf of my mum Peggy, who has had Alzheimer’s for the past six years and is now living with dementia in Sanctuary Care’s Redhill Court Residential Care Home in Kings Norton, Birmingham.
It’s extremely personal for me – it’s all for my mum, who is a wonderful person. When I visit I’m sometimes her dad, sometimes I’m her husband or sometimes I’m her son but it doesn’t matter to me, it’s enough for me to know she loves me and that’s why I’m doing this for her.
Before Peggy moved into Sanctuary’s Redhill Court, my family reached out for Admiral Nurse care in Worcestershire for vital support but discovered imperative funding had been withdrawn and it was this heart-breaking discovery that motivated me to raise thousands of pounds and hit hundreds of hills to help the charity grow their Admiral Nurse networks and the fantastic work they do for future families.
How did you get into cycling?
Richard: It all started only four years ago at the age of 58 – seeing Sir Bradley Wiggins become the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France ignited my inner love of bikes. With my son James, who had also just started riding, I jumped on a bike and wobbled down the road, nearly falling off repeatedly in the first half mile. However, the wobbly half a mile soon turned into an hour and then two hours. By the next summer, I was riding up to 500km per week.
What will be the hardest part of the challenge?
It will undoubtedly be the stop-start nature of the climbing. I will be warming up the cold muscles at the bottom of each climb on average nine times a day and I’m not quite sure how my legs will cope but I know I’ll be very grateful of the rest in between climbs!
We’d like to thank Richard for taking the time out to chat to us and for raising funds for Dementia UK. Feeling inspired by Richard’s fundraising efforts? Check out Dementia UK’s challenge events to see how you can help raise funds for more Admiral Nurses. Dementia has an impact on the whole family and Admiral Nurses provide vital support to all involved.