Appin man takes on 944-mile cycle ride for village hall

Touring cyclist Tony Beckett at Appin Village Hall.

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A man from Appin will be putting himself to the test later this month as he takes on a 944-mile bike ride covering the length of Britain.

Retired teacher Tony Beckett, 67, has set himself a target of raising at least £1,000 towards a campaign to replace the roof of Appin Village Hall, which is estimated at £50,000.

Originally from Manchester, he retired to the Appin area with wife Kathleen King who was born and raised in the village.

The couple have visited family and holidayed locally for 40 years.

Tony said: ‘As a member of Appin Hall Committee, she thinks I should get on my bike to support a venue that is at the heart of the local community.’

He originally set a target to raise £500 which was quickly achieved and is now hoping to better that amount.

The challenge he faces is the D2D – a route between Dover on England’s south east coast to Durness on Scotland’s far north west coast.

It is considered to be around 10 per cent more difficult than the classic Land’s End to John O’Groats. Tony completed that when he retired in 2013 after a 38-year career in education.

Scheduled to take around 12 days, it will amount to more than 70 miles of cycling every day and the equivalent of six to eight hours in the saddle.

But the experienced touring cyclist is unfazed having completed many expeditions previously.

This includes many in the heat of Spain where he has ridden extensively and completed the little-known Camino Del Cid which took in around 1,000 miles of cycling.

The adventure starts on Saturday July 24 and Tony will meet all of the costs of the trip so that the sponsorship money goes directly to the roof fund.

His tour will take in the Kentish Hills; England’s smallest county of Rutland; the Peak District; the Yorkshire Dales; Cumbria; Dumfriesshire; Arran and the west coast of Scotland.

After an overnight stop in Oban, the tour then continues via Mull, Ardnamurchan, Skye and Ullapool before reaching Cape Wrath at the most north westerly point of mainland Britain.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/appin-hall

Alternatively sponsor forms are available at Port Appin Community Co-op.