Son pedals 400 miles from Leeds to Berwick and back in memory of his mum
A former Amble man has raised over £4,000 for charity with a long-distance bike ride in memory of his mum.
Paul Carruthers, 39, cycled over 400 miles from Leeds to Berwick and back over the space of five days to raise funds for Bowel Research UK.
His mum, Kim Brierley, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2019 and died in April 2020, aged just 56.
Paul, who now lives in Leeds, had originally planned to cycle from London to Paris but that was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.
"We had already raised a fair amount of money so we needed to come up with a Plan B,” said Paul, who was joined on the ride by his friend, Jessie Faye.
"The idea was that we incorporated memories of my mum so we wanted to include some of her old haunts in Amble like her old flat and workplace, Ashington where she lived and Cramlington where she spent time in hospital.”
It turned out to be a much tougher challenge than they anticipated, especially without the support team they would have had on the London to Paris trip.
The northernmost stretch of the ride from Holy Island to Berwick was particularly difficult.
"We had road bikes so the coastal path there on quite rough terrain was an absolute nightmare,” he admitted.
There were also mechanical problems which required a detour into Alnwick.
"I was having gear problems so we cycled across to a bike repair shop in Alnwick and got it fixed,” he revealed.
There was also the odd unintended detour, the occasional fall and a number of blisters to contend with.
“It was so much harder than we anticipated but we laughed, cried and rallied each other on,” said Paul. “My mam was in my thoughts the whole entire time."
Paul, who left Amble when he was 19 to train and then work as a nurse, would like to thank everyone who had donated or supported them on their effort.
"We’re really blown away by how much we’ve raised,” he said.
The total currently stands at £4,407.
Paul’s sister, Emma, who lives in Ellington, said: “Everyone is so proud of him.”
Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-carruthers8