Take a man, a cycle, 4,250 km, 26,000 meters of ascent, a 72nd birthday, 38 days, and what have you got?
You’ve got Pete Simpson’s incredible journey from Ormskirk in West Lancashire to Üzümlü near Fethiye in Turkey.
It has long been Pete’s dream to relive his cycle journey from Rugby, Warwickshire to Greece when he was 18 and on Tuesday 3rd September, Pete’s dream came true. He set off to cycle over 4,000 km from Ormskirk to Üzümlü.
Before he left, Pete posted on social media.
“I was looking for a photo of me and my bike in 1966, but I could only find this one at school in 1965 (in the bike sheds? enough said!)
Anyway in 1966 I left school and immediately set off on a trip by bike which took me to South Greece and back . No phones, only a postcard home to say where I was and no credit cards, just the money in my pocket which had to last (£1 per day!)
En route I biked through London, Paris, Luxembourg, Vienna, Athens, Naples, Rome, Marseilles and saw all the sights by bike (as well as lots of mountains and coast of course)
In 2016 I had a notion of sort of repeating the experience 50 years later by cycling from my UK home to my Turkey home but somehow other plans and adventures intruded and it is only now (tomorrow) that I am getting around to it- 53 years older, no wiser, and regrettably less strong.
I had intended it to be very low key especially as I really have no idea how well I will manage and it could all go horribly wrong. BUT Rosie rightly persuaded me that it would be a good opportunity to raise some money with Race for Life cancer charity for charity in Turkey.
Many thanks to all of you have responded with good wishes. I will update on Strava and FB, subject of course to my ability to manage and charge up my various electronic gizmos
Best keep it low key for a week or two and see how I am doing !!”
Everyone who has been following Pete’s journey on social media and Strava will agree that his journey has been absolutely incredible.
A rousing welcome home
On Thursday afternoon, family, friends and supporters gathered in Üzümlü to cheer Pete home.
At 2pm, after 38 days of traveling through Europe and into Turkey, Pete, accompanied by local cycling group Blazing Saddles who joined him at Nif for the home stretch, cycled into the square in Üzümlü to a rousing welcome.
In an interview with the Ormskirk and West Lancashire Champion, Pete’s daughter Katy said “We are all extremely proud and in awe of his mega-amazing feats – but he is also the best dad and grandad we could wish for. He’s a very humble and kind man, who regularly gives time and money help others and those less fortunate than himself. And, although he wanted to keep this latest challenge ‘low-key’, we can’t help but shout it from the rooftops as we think he is truly awesome”
Cycling to beat cancer
At the last count, Pete has raised just under 11,000TL for Yaşam İçin Yarış (Race For Life Turkey) with donations still coming in.
Pete had originally planned to finish the cycle race on Sunday 13th October and immediately take part in this year’s Yaşam İçin Yarış (Race For Life) however, due to the change of date, that couldn’t happen.
That isn’t stopping him though and he’ll be joining us on Sunday 27th October to ‘race for life’
Pete, we think you’re awesome too!
If you would like to make a donation, please click on the link below for our GoFundMe page.
All monies raised will go towards the diagnosis and treatment of people with cancer in Fethiye and the local area.