A KEEN cyclist from Mossley has set himself his own fundraising challenge for MND after being inspired by marathon man Kevin Sinfield.
Garry Smith, a retired intensive care nurse, will mark his 61st birthday on December 17 by launching a bid to ride 61 kilometres for 61 successive days.
In total, Garry will cover 3,721 kilometres or the equivalent of 2,312 miles on road, mountain and possible static bike to complete his two-wheeled challenge.
He was motivated by former rugby legend Kevin Sinfield, who ran seven marathons in seven days for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in support of his friend Rob Burrow.
“I saw what Kevin was doing and the emotion just built up,” explained Garry, who has launched a JustGiving page to raise a minimum £610 for the motor neurone disease charity.
“Seeing him running all these marathons, sometimes in horrible weather, motivated me to do something.”
Garry hasn’t known any MND sufferers but admits: “It is just one of those diseases I look at and it scares me.
“I am not sure I could face something like Rob Burrow is doing. So, it has just struck a chord with me.
“My wife looked at me as though I was a bit mad when I told her what I thought of doing,” laughed Garry.
“But once I said I was going to do it, I had to put it out there to people otherwise I probably would have ended up not doing it.”Garry, who quickly received £100 towards his target, has cycled for years but had couple of recent injuries including a broken scaphoid and detached retina.
“They put me off the bike for two or three months so in a selfish kind of way this doing this challenge is helping me get back my fitness,” admitted Garry.
“If we can get away after Christmas, I might do some of the rides in the Lakes or Scotland. Otherwise it will all be local.
“I will do it both on road bike and mountain bike. And if the weather is so horrendous, I have an indoor trainer so I can mix it up if I want.”
To support Garry and donate go online to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/garry-smith30