Pedal power raises an impressive total

A North Tyneside woman has successfully finished her major cycling challenge in aid of a good cause.

Friday, 14th December 2018, 1:26 pm
Updated Friday, 14th December 2018, 1:28 pm
Suzanne Harrison has completed her challenge of riding eight tough cycling routes across the UK to raise money for Alzheimers Society. Picture by Gavin Duthie.

Each of the eight rides on Suzanne Harrison’s schedule – all completed this year – involved climbing.

The News Guardian previously spoke with her in the middle of the challenge. The rides that she had already done included a sportive in Sussex and a route in Scotland which featured some twisty climbs.

Struggle The Moors in North Yorkshire and The Monster in Wales, which was 186 miles, were among the rides she has completed since then.

Suzanne’s mother, Elsie Harrison, was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012.

Despite the best efforts of the medical profession and care from lots of people, she died in December 2016 due to complications of the illness.

Having seen at first hand the effects of this condition on her mother and family and friends, Suzanne was inspired to support Alzheimer’s Society in its efforts to defeat dementia.

She has raised about £2,900 for the charity.

The West Moor resident said: “I have retired from my role as a PE teacher and for many years have enjoyed cycling as a hobby.

“It was my 60th birthday in 2017, so I decided to set myself a challenge for 2018 and it needed to be something I would find difficult.

“I’m delighted that I was able to complete all the rides.

“It was a fantastic experience – each course was so different, you couldn’t compare any of them.

“The remaining rides went very well and I particularly enjoyed The Monster.

“Although we had to set off at 3.20am and didn’t finish until 8.30pm, we saw a lovely sunrise and wonderful wildlife such as a huge owl and red kites, and the weather was great for most of the day.

“I can’t thank enough everyone who supported me, rode with me and gave a donation.”

Suzanne did some Audax rides – participants attempt to cycle long distances, classic distances are 200, 300, 400 and 600km, within set time limits – to prepare for the challenge and she is planning to do more of them in 2019.