The story of the restoration of a 1950s classic bicycle for a Land's End – John O'Groats charity ride in aid of Alzheimer's Society
Welcome to the Old Bloke On An Old Bike blog.
My name is Steve Pudney. I’m a university professor now, after a recent move from Essex, working in Sheffield, England.
Incredible though it still feels – I turned sixty-five in June 2016. Many people still regard a sixty-fifth birthday as the beginning of old age and incapacity. They’re wrong! I wanted to mark this personal event in a way that emphasises the capabilities of older people and also does something to help people who do face disability in later life.
My aim was to restore to pristine condition a bicycle that is as old as I am and, starting on my birthday in 2016, to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats – a 65-year-old bloke, riding a 65-year-old bike (almost) 65 miles a day. I was accompanied part of the way by my son, Eric – another academic, based in Lund, Sweden. Eric was riding a 25-year old bike. The ride was a great success and enormously rewarding for me. This blog is a kind of diary, telling the story of the restoration project and the planning and execution of the ride. Although the Land’s End-John O’Groats ride is now done, I’ll keep this site and the blog going, to cover other bike restoration projects and further adventures on old bikes.
I’m doing this for a good cause. Dementia is a disability that causes terrible suffering for many older people and their families. It also generates enormous costs of long-term care for the rest of society. We all stand to gain from progress in the treatment and care of dementia. I want to appeal to anyone who visits this blog to consider sponsoring my efforts through a donation, small or large, to Alzheimer’s Society. You can do this by visiting my JustGiving page. The appeal remains open, so please help me to reach the target of £6500.