Perthshire pair to embark on epic cycling challenge in aid of Prostate Scotland

Two local pensioners will embark on a marathon 225-mile cycling challenge around Perthshire this month to raise cash – and awareness – for prostate cancer.

Sixty-eight-year-old Jimmy Thomas, of Scone, and Perth man Davie Ramsay (69) have both overcome their own health issues in past years.

But now they are eagerly counting down the days until they take part in the Grand Lodge of Scotland’s ‘Make it a Million’ appeal in aid of Prostate Scotland.

“This is a charity very close to our hearts,” Jimmy explained yesterday.

“One in every two men in Scotland will suffer from prostate disease in their lifetime.

“It is also the most common cancer among men in Scotland, with one in 10 at risk.

“More men in Scotland, however, are surviving prostate cancer and there is an increase in the numbers seeking early diagnosis.

“But we want to see these figures rise more quickly.”

The pair will set out on their 225-mile big cycle on April 13 and, because of their age, will spread the challenge over a period of five days.

“That will give us enough time to rest up between the various legs,” said Jimmy.

The first section will take the pair from Scone to Blairgowrie and on to Kirkmichael, before returning to Perth. The distance covered will be 60 miles.

Day 2: leave Perth, head to Methven then Muthill, returning via Auchterarder and finishing in Perth. Distance covered: 50 miles.

Day 3: leave Perth for Bridge of Earn, on to Abernethy and Dunning then back to Perth. Distance covered: 40 miles.

Day 4: leaving Perth and cycling to Coupar Angus, Alyth then Meigle before heading home to Perth. Distance covered: another 50 miles.

Day 5: the final and shortest day, setting out from Perth then cycling to Errol and back. Distance covered: 25 miles.

“The total distance covered will be approximately 225 miles,” Davie said yesterday.

“That’s a lot of thousands for two old codgers,” he smiled. “We have set up a JustGiving page on Facebook and all donations will be greatly appreciated.

“Every single penny will go to Prostate Scotland. Please support our attempt at saving more lives by increasing funding for the charity’s research into the disease.”

The intrepid duo’s testing trip is made all the more remarkable as both suffered serious health challenges in years gone by.

Jimmy spent 12 months, first in a hospital bed and then in a wheelchair, after suffering terrible leg injuries in an accident while carrying out building work on January 28, 2016.

“I fell from a ladder at the old toll house in Perth’s Glasgow Road and now wear a leg and ankle brace,” he recalled.

He was taken to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital where his shattered bones were re-set and he began the long recovery programme.

Walking any distance became a problem so he took up cycling about four years ago as part of his ongoing rehab.

“There is no pressure on my leg or ankle joints when I’m cycling and it has been a tremendous way to improve my mental and physical health,” he said.

“I have covered around 8500 miles in Perthshire – and many other parts of Scotland – since installing the Strava app which records details of your journeys.”

Davie also went through the mill when he underwent a quadruple bypass some 15 years ago but he also turned to cycling which transformed his fitness and stamina levels.

He said: “It’s a great way to get out and about and this particular fundraising is helping an excellent cause.”

The Grand Lodge of Scotland has already collected around £850,000 for Prostate Scotland with a series of fundraising events the length and breadth of the country over the past few years.

“Now they are spearheading the final push to ‘Make it a Million’ to help this life-saving charity,” said Jimmy.

“Your contribution, big or small, will help them realize that.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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