After 900 miles in 100 days two Kelso cyclists complete their lockdown odyssey
Two furloughed Kelso workers today, Tuesday, April 6, completed a 100th consecutive-day cycle ride as part of their coping strategy through lockdown.
Pals Kevin Welsh and Simon Ayton decided in January to hit the road on their mountain bikes to help keep them sane and focused.
Today was their final outing after completing almost 900 miles in the last one hundred days.
Kevin, who works at the Abbey Fitness Centre in Kelso said: “What happened was we were just going to cycle every day for the initial lockdown, which was going to be three weeks but then Nicola moved the goal-posts and it went on and on.
"I’m not back to work until the 26th of this month and it gave us something to do during the day and we kept it going. Distances varied and sometimes we just did the local trails here in Kelso but on the big days we did up to 30 miles on the mountain bikes.
"It is almost 900 miles now and we have not missed a day since we started in January."
Simon, 54, a Kelso gardener, has also been on furlough.
Kevin, 53, added: “The way the Covid rules were you were not meant to cycle with more than two and with us both being on furlough that’s what we decided to do.
"We didn’t initially do it for charity and it’s only recently that someone asked us why we weren’t raising funds for a good cause. That’s why on the last day we decided to ride in fancy dress, and put a couple of charity buckets in a local cafe in the centre of town to make it easier to hand in funds there for Borders Water Rescue team and an autism charity.
"We are wearing naked men costumes today, but hopefully no-one was offended.
"It’s been brilliant from a mental health point of view because it helped keep us going through lockdown. Everybody gets down a wee bit and it has helped the both of us get through these tough times and focus every day.
"This last day we are doing what we call a classic local route, which we have done several times over the last 100 days, which is officially known as the ‘Kelso Loop’, off road down to Sprouston, up through Lurdenlaw and Bowmont Forest and back along the old railway line to Kelso. It’s roughly about 20 miles plus the two miles for a couple laps of the town as well.”