Many of my friends, family and colleagues in the Navy Larks (our sea shanty group based in Salisbury, directed by Kate Edgar) have been affected by Alzheimer's disease in one way or another so I would like to raise funds for the for our new, local Alzheimer's support centre in Salisbury.

I will be cycling 1,007 miles, and enduring 55,000 feet of climbing!

My journey begin at Lands End on 14th of May 2023 and will take me 14 days. The average daily mileage works out at 73 miles, the longest being 83 miles and the shortest 60 miles. The hardest section will probably be in Cornwall and Devon where there are numerous short, sharp hills. I am joining a group of 14 riders, with a company called "Pedal Britain", which organises accommodation, luggage transfer and support on the route.

When I turned 70 last year I felt that I needed a fresh challenge. Over the years I have participated in the 125 mile Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race five times, canoed the Wye and the Severn in flood, participated in the Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor, undertaken the Three Peaks Trek, run the London Marathon, and walked parts of the Coastal Path. That's how I learned about the short, sharp hills in Devon and Cornwall!

Why am I supporting our local Alzheimer's group?

I firstly came across the illness in 1971 as a very young police officer. We had no training to deal with, or to recognise, dementia. I received a complaint about a man digging up another man's allotment. It transpired that it had been the former man's allotment 15 years previously, but had moved away from the area. He had walked three miles to his old allotment and, needless to say, I found him in a very confused state.

In recent times our family, like many others, knows someone who has been living with Alzheimer's. Invariably support came from charities like this one. Their help is invaluable and, very often, provides the first/last line of hope.

I sing in a shanty group called the "Navy Larks". We are based in Salisbury and each year we undertake to entertain community groups. In 2022 we performed in 40 such events.
We sing at Alzheimer's Support Wiltshire coffee mornings and we always enjoy the enthusiasm of the group.

Please help to support this organisation by making whatever donation you can.
Your generous support will help spur me on in my quest!


Update 5th May 2023

Training in the UK has been very difficult due to the appalling weather.

In early April I went to Mallorca with my daughter Nic and son in law Critch and enjoyed 23 degrees of heat. The cycling was great although very scary on one of the decents. 

I’ve completed my training and my bike is clean ready for the challenge. Hopefully we will see sunshine!!

Christopher Thomas