Ahoy Harry! Cyclist takes on epic adventure in aid of the RNLI

Cyclist Harry Lidgley with Oban lifeboat coxswain Ally Cerexhe picking up his mum's food parcel

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Ahoy! Cyclist Harry Lidgley stopped off in Oban on a mammoth challenge wheeling his way round all the UK’s mainland lifeboat stations.

The 23-year-old, who has been training for it by working as a Deliveroo cyclist in Cambridge, was welcomed by Oban lifeboat crew and fundraisers as he reached the halfway mark of his £5,000 fundraising goal for the lifesaving charity.

Harry, from Berkshire, was happy to pick up one of the food parcels his mum Jan has been forwarding to the various stations to keep him well-fed on his 7,000km mission.

Endurance cyclist Harrly Lidgley at Oban lifeboat station

North Argyll Cycle Club also dropped off energy bars and drinks for him on his journey.

‘I need as many calories as I can get,’ said Harry, who is travelling light with just a tent, although he has found different places to stay overnight, including church porches, a coxswain’s garden shed and people’s floors.

He set off from Poole on May 1 to travel round the 168 mainland lifeboat stations in 40 days.

A battering from the hills in Cornwall and Devon gave him a taste of what was to come in Scotland, he added, but the weather has been kind so far.

‘I’ve done well with the Scottish weather so far – I’ve been surprised. It’s going pretty well,’ he said, although a mishap with spokes almost threw a spanner in the works on his way through Glenbarr, Kintyre, until he was saved by a villager with spares.

Oban Cycles was going to give his bike a check-over before he set off again, when he planned cycle to Mallaig lifeboat station before catching the ferry over to Skye to get to Portree and cycling back over the bridge and into the wilds, heading for Thurso.

‘I’m travelling pretty light but even so the bike feels quite heavy having to lug it up hills. Mum’s doing a great job contacting local papers such as the Oban Times and getting in touch with lifeboat stations so they know I’m coming. It’s great to meet the crews and see their boats.

‘The fundraising is ticking on quite well, we’re over halfway to the £5,000 target. I’m hoping it will pick up more and more as people hear of the challenge,’ said Harry, who was previously part of a team event rowing round Britain.

To find out more and see a tracker following Harry’s progress, visit gblifeboatcycle.com

Oban lifeboat coxswain Ally Cerexhe said: ‘We’d like to thank Harry and everyone else taking on challenges and fundraising for us. Over the last year, with the pandemic, our fundraising has taken quite a hit, so all these efforts are much appreciated. We wish Harry well with the rest of his journey!’