Alistair Macdonald has returned home. Picture: Tony Jones.
Safer Summer Staycation

For hours on end, with no one to talk to, he could only hear the sound of his wheels whirring as he cycled 1,053 miles.

But Alistair Macdonald, who spent 23 days pedaling the length of the UK on his own, described it as “lovely.”

I loved the solitude of it,” he said. “Hearing the birds tweeting and taking in the beautiful scenery.”

Mr Macdonald, of Roydon, used his trip to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Research and has achieved around £3,000.

A retired broadcaster, Mr Macdonald had always planned the challenge, but was inspired to raise money by his neighbour’s ten-year-old granddaughter, Millie Laws, who was born with cystic fibrosis.

Mr Macdonald, spent months planning his trip and decided he wanted to try a different route.

Instead of the usual Land’s End to John O’Groats, he cycled from Dungeness in Kent, to Durness in north west Scotland.

“I left on May 23 and got back on June 14 – I feel tremendous.

“It all went well apart from a minor accident in Chelmsford where two pedestrians walked out in front of me and I fell off my bike to avoid them.  I just got a grazed elbow.”

Mr Macdonald lost half a stone from all the exercise and escaped any punctures, despite often cycling on rough track and surfaces.

In the evenings, he slept in bed and breakfasts.

He said that some of the highlights were meeting different people and the rural scenery.

But one of the hardest times he endured, was when he went through the Scottish border  with strong winds and rain.

“It was so scary, I was terrified I would be blown in front of a car,” he said.  “I was shaking.”

I got through it with grit and determination.”

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