A Stonehaven resident is raising funds for charity by taking on three challenging cycle events.
Andrew Hinchcliffe is set to participate in the “ETAPE Caledonia”, the “Ride the North” (over 160 miles going from Inverness to Elgin to Aberdeen in two days) and the “ETAPE Pennines” (77 miles and several big climbs around the beautiful countryside of County Durham) to raise funds for the Stonehaven Kidney Dialysis unit.
This is not the first time that Andrew has raised money for this cause.
A resident of Stonehaven for over 40 years, he started fundraising for the unit last year when he responded to a colleague’s challenge to cycle the 2012 ETAPE Caledonia, raising £480 for the charity.
The first event was tough, he said, but he battled on to complete it.
He added: “Last year, along with around 4000 other enthusiasts, I signed up for my first cycling “sportive” covering 82 miles around Loch Faskally, Loch Tummel, Loch Rannoch, a tough climb over the Schiehallion and many more miles around the beautiful countryside of Pitlochry.
“This ‘closed road’ event was fully supported by feed stations and support vehicles, however as the road reopens on a tight deadline you are effectively racing against the clock.
“The event itself was a really tough ask and, despite suffering from severe cramp at the halfway stage, there was no way I could let so many people down and not complete the course. I had my family waiting for me on the finish line and many generous sponsors and patients depending on me so I battled on and finished in five hours and 15 minutes”
The experience left its mark and, for this year’s challenges, Andrew has been training harder, more often and with an improved diet. Motorists on the A90 may have also seen him regularly cycling to work in Tullos and back in all weathers on his mountain bike .
This year, he is aiming higher both financially and in distance, targeting £1000 in funds by completing a total of just over 320 miles and ascending over 21200 feet. The Grampian Health Endowment Fund has several sub-funds one of which is the Stonehaven Kidney Dialysis machine fund.
Explaining why he supported the Dialysis unit, Andrew said: “I chose this charity to improve the lives of patients who currently have to travel to Aberdeen for lengthy treatment. At the moment all kidney patients in Stonehaven and the surrounding area have to travel three times per week to ARI for dialysis. A local unit/machine would seriously help improve the quality of lives of all those affected by Kidney disease”
He is hoping to raise £1000 by the end of the last event in October. His fund-raising page can be found by visiting www.justgiving.com/Andrew-Hinchcliffe-2013-Multi-Cycle-Challenge