Support Ken’s charity bike ride: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
It is less than five weeks until 68-year-old Scottish cyclist Ken MacEwen starts his 30-day 3,000km solo bike ride to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The retired PE teacher from Lenzie is cycling from Gibraltar to Glasgow.
Ken, who is a cancer survivor himself, will be riding alone after his friend Gordon “Hendo” Henderson died suddenly last year. He has called the challenge, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
Ken, a former National Fitness Coach for the Scottish Rugby Union, said: “Hendo and I had planned to do a big challenge together for charity and I came up with the idea of cycling 3,000km from Gibraltar, where I lived as a child, to our homes in Glasgow.
“Very sadly, my great, dear friend, who was very fit, died suddenly of heart failure while out for a cycle in Spain last April.
“However, I am still determined to complete the ride. I have lost numerous close friends to various cancers and I have survived testicular cancer myself. I want to raise a considerable amount of money for Cancer Research UK.”
How to support Ken’s bike ride
You can make a donation, or why not buy tickets for a Race Night on Friday April 26? The event will be held at Barr and Stroud Bowling Club in Anniesland (beside David Lloyd club).
The event is from 7.30pm to late and tickets cost £10, including a buffet.
Organiser Anne Marie Cullen said: “This will be a great opportunity for people to show their support for Ken.” Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.
Ken’s charity challenge
Ken explains the title of the self-created Between a Rock and a Hard Place charity challenge. He said: “The start is the Rock of Gibraltar and the finish, Glasgow, was historically renowned as place of hard men. It’s not like that now but it will be a very hard cycle for me to reach my home city.”
Leaving Gibraltar on May 1, Ken will ride north through the length of Spain. He will face a steady climb towards the Extremadura region of western Spain and then the arduous mountains of Northern Spain.
From there, he will cycle the west coast of France to reach Roscoff in Brittany before taking a ferry to Plymouth on the south coast of England.
Ken’s charity ride will head north to finally reach Scotland.
The ride will be unsupported, which means he will carry all his own kit with him. He hopes to make use of hostels and guest houses each night.
He will be joined by friends and family at different points during the ride, including his son and daughter-in-law who will cycle with him.
His wife, May, and Hendo’s wife Anne, will follow the bike journey by car in France.
Six-month training plan
Ken, who is married with two grown-up children and two grandchildren, is a veteran of many endurance races, including an Ironman, six Half Ironmans and two marathons.
He has spent many months training, including some tough outings over the winter.
He said: “I enjoy cycling and while riding 100km in a day is fairly comfortably achievable I will need to ride this distance day after day – and for a month.
“It will be a big challenge for me, especially as I have not done something like this before for such a long and sustained period.
“The weather is likely to be unpredictable, too, especially in the mountainous sections and when I reach the UK.”
“The winter training in Scotland has not always been easy and I have mixed this with indoor training on a turbo trainer and gym work. I am not getting any younger and I know I will have to work hard to complete this challenge.
“I want to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK and also in memory of my friend Hendo.”
£30k charity target
Ken’s aim is to donate £30,000 to Cancer research UK, a charity that funds for life-saving research into cancer treatments and survival.
Rowan Main, a Cancer Research UK fundraising manager, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Ken has decided to attempt such a great challenge to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.
“He has been doing lots of preparation and we’re sure he is going to have an amazing experience. We can’t thank Ken enough for his support.”
Rowan added: “Cancer Research UK has made enormous progress in the fight against cancer. However, we have only been able to do this thanks to the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters without whom we would not be able to fund our research.”
The ride has attracted sponsors including ACT Construction (UK) Ltd, Dales Cycles and Pro Endurance Coaching.
This article appeared in the Sunday Mail: