UNTIL eight months ago Denholm woman Beccy Roberts had cycled barely 12 miles in an outing, writes Sally Gillespie.
Now she’s training to bike about 100 miles a day round Britain in memory of her mum, Ellie.
She said: “Sarah and I lost our beautiful mum last May, 18 months after her being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, an horrific disease for which there is no known cause, treatment or cure.
“In the UK, five people die from it every day, and yet most people you speak to have no idea what it is. It is considered far more rare than it actually is, and one in 10 cases are hereditary.
“So I want to celebrate my mobility, celebrate mum and get people talking.”
Now living in Buckinghamshire, the 35-year-old hopes to start her epic ride in mid-August in the London area. From there she plans to head south to the coast, along to Cornwall, up the west coast through Wales to Glasgow, Loch Lomond, Skye, round the top of Scotland to John O’Groats, on to Edinburgh then home to Hawick and down to Newcastle and back to London.
An advertising executive now working in London, Ms Roberts said: “I’ve never done anything like this. Before eight months ago I hadn’t cycled more than about 12 miles – so I’m training very hard!”
She hopes to complete her 2,500 mile route in a month.
“The intensity is going to be tough. It’s going to be very hard to sustain 100 miles a day over a month especially in the really hilly areas.
“When I get to Hawick, the next day will be tackling Carter Bar and Northumbria – I’ll be a little nervous about that I think!”
Asked what she is looking forward to she said: “The best bits will be when people come and join me to cycle with me or just cheer me on. No matter how tired I am I’m sure that will keep me going.
“Although the terrain in Scotland is going to be tough I think I’ll be spurred on being in such beautiful places – I’m particularly excited about cycling the length of Loch Lomond – and I’ll be going to corners of the country that I’ve never been to which will be fantastic in itself.”
Her family moved to near Denholm when her father Will left the RAF after 37 years and became the manager of Selkirk Medical Practice.
Ms Roberts said: “Mum and dad were active members of the Denholm Folk Club and part of the team of organisers of the Denholm Folk Festival.
“Dad also sat on the Denholm and District Community Council until caring for Mum became his priority.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the Borders since my parents settled there and see it as home.”
Her father and her husband Richard will act as support team in the dash around the country. And Ms Roberts is setting up a website on the challenge which she hopes to launch next month.
She said: “The biggest issue that MND faces is awareness – without that, there will never be significant funds for research – so I need to get tongues wagging more than anything.”
To support Ms Roberts and donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/becsbigbikeride