A woman and her pet golden retriever are to begin a 5,000 mile tour around Britain for charity.
Maggie Scorer, 65, and 7 year old Oscar are planning to spend six months travelling around the coastline of Britain with the aim of raising £25,000 for two charities, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (LLR) and Stillborn & Neonatal Deaths (SANDS).
The charities are close to her heart, because her son-in-law suffers from a type of blood cancer called Myelofibrosis, and her daughter Susan died soon after birth in 1977.
“It is my own personal tragedy,” Maggie told EADT.
“It is hard to comprehend the feelings of loneliness and emptiness you have unless you have been through it yourself. She was my third child. I already had two healthy children and went on to have another two afterwards.
“At that time the attitude was that you just got on with it. And in a way that’s what I had to do, with two young children at home who needed my care. But it never leaves you. Every year, at what would have been her birthday I get a bit low.
“The death of any child goes against the natural order of things but when they’ve just been born you’ve got no memories of them either. I do sometimes wonder what she would have been like and what she would have been doing now, had she lived.”
Completely alone, apart from the company of Oscar, who will be riding in a trailer, and adding an extra 4.3 stone to Maggie’s load.
Maggie said: “Oscar and I have already sailed halfway around the world so to leave him behind is not an option.
“Inspired by Sport Relief, being of an adventurous spirit, and not shy of tackling a new challenge, I decided to take on this adventure which as a 65 year old mother of four and grandmother of eight will be pushing my limits!
“I am aiming to raise £25.000 and donations will go directly to the charities.”
Maggie aims to ride around 30 miles per day from her starting point in Aldeburgh in Suffolk.
She said: “I am not 20 any more so I will take it easy, be careful and have regular days off to give my body a rest. I’m trying to safeguard against injury and build up my muscles and stamina but not overdoing the training.
“I realise I’ve got to start off slowly and pace myself. One thing I would like to do on the trip is visit as many light houses as I can, but I know they will not all be accessible by bike.
“I am looking forward to it but it is mixed with a lot of apprehension. It is a huge undertaking, especially on my own, and it is tinged with a little bit of sadness because I won’t be seeing my grandchildren so regularly. But hopefully they will come up and join me sometime on the trip.
“I know there will be some dark darks when I think: ‘What on earth am I doing?’. But as long as I have accommodation at the end of the day I’ll be ok and it will be an incredible journey.”
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.