ALL roads will lead to Rome next month for fundraiser Roy Thorburn from Lochmaben.
The builder is downing tools and hopping on his bike for a 1500 mile charity cycle in aid of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and their research into MND.
His epic journey will start at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Monday March 4 and Roy, along with dozens of other participants, is aiming to reach the Piazza Navona in the Italian capital by Friday March 8 – just in time for the Italy v Scotland Six Nations rugby match the next day, which he will attend.
It’s a step up and longer distance than the Cardiff to Edinburgh cycle ride which he did over two and a half days last year for the same good cause.
Training for Rome started about seven months ago and is going well and Roy, 62, is now focused on raising as much as he can, with £700 in donations already pledged.
He also needs to find a corporate sponsor and this week said: “Last year when we did the ride to Murrayfield, Coll Distillery was the main sponsor and generously gave £10,000.
“So this year I am targeting more distilleries to see if we can get that again. I am also reaching out to my second cousin, David Coulthard, so hopefully he sees this!
“If anyone would like to be our corporate sponsor, please get in touch.”
Roy has been cycling for about seven years and gets out on his bike every week, whether that’s on the Isle of Coll or Lochmaben. He splits his time between the two locations, overseeing building projects in both places as the owner of the HK Thorburn construction firm.
However, next month’s trip will be the first time he’s cycled outside the UK and it will take him to Amsterdam, Lyon, Genoa and Monaco. He said: “We will skirt into the Alps and the Tuscan Hills, it will be beautiful and I hope I can enjoy the scenery.
“I have been to that bit of the world before but not cycled it.
“It will be unknown weather, we will be packing for every eventuality, someone even mentioned snow chains. I am hoping it will be a lot nicer than what I am training in!”
Once on the continent, Roy will also have to get used to different rules of the road and cycling on the right hand side.
His support crew includes drivers Kim-Jo Kesteloop and Andy Black and team captain is Billy Henderson, from Annan, who will be on and off his bike too.
n To contact Roy about sponsorship email [email protected] or call 07712000864. To donate, go to www.justgiving.com and search ‘roy-thorburn’.