Gareth rides through town on his Great Tour of Britain

Gareth Lyon and his support vehicle, with Davaar Island in the background.
Gareth Lyon and his support vehicle, with Davaar Island in the background.

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A Cheshire man rode through Oban last weekend as part of a challenge to cycle the coast of Britain to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.

Gareth Lyon left his home in Tarporley on May 14 as he began his ‘Great Tour of Britain’, travelling 100 miles a day over seven weeks.

‘This year, I turn 50,’ Gareth said, ‘and this is also the age where every man should start regularly getting tested for prostate cancer.

‘Because I have a family history of prostate cancer, I have a one-in-three chance of getting it.

‘This is why I wanted to use this milestone age as a moment to raise awareness of a horrible disease and raise money for a wonderful charity that does so much to help those diagnosed with prostate cancer.’

Gareth, senior director at consulting and IT service provider NTT DATA UK, has invited colleagues and friends to join him at various stages across the journey and help raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.

All money donated will support Prostate Cancer UK’s vital research into better treatments and testing, which will help the organisation to save thousands of lives every year.

NTT DATA will be funding all expenses from the challenge and matching any funds raised by NTT DATA employees.

‘I am delighted to be joined by many of my colleagues from NTT DATA over the course of the ride and am touched by the number of people willing to go well outside their comfort zone to amplify our cause,’ he said.

‘NTT DATA has gone above and beyond to not only accommodate the ride and fund my expenses but also match any donations from NTT DATA employees, making our ambitious target of £20,000 more achievable.’

Gareth left his wife Helen and two teenage daughters Grace and Evie at home as he embarked on his challenge but he is being supported throughout by his father Bill, who is driving a motorhome along the route.

Gareth was joined during the Kintyre leg by Craig Wilkie, whose parents live at Kilchousland, near Campbeltown.

Craig, who grew up in Glasgow but now lives with his wife Deborah and their two small children, Maggie and Lewis, in Hertfordshire, met Gareth on Arran and cycled with him through Kintyre and into north Argyll.

‘I’ve worked with Gareth in the past,’ Craig said, ‘and when I heard he was doing the challenge, I wanted to support him and doing it on my local roads of Kintyre felt like the right thing to do.

‘It was great to show him the best our ‘Wee Toon’ has to offer. It also meant I got to enjoy some of the best riding in the UK.’

During a rest day in Kintyre, the pair enjoyed sightseeing and a trip to Gigha.

Nicola Tallett, director of fundraising and supporter engagement at Prostate Cancer UK, said: ‘It’s fantastic Gareth has decided to take on this challenge to raise funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.

‘The fight against prostate cancer, a disease that affects one in eight men, is a purpose worth uniting for. We want to see a world where men’s lives are not limited by prostate cancer and we know men and their loved ones feel the same.

‘Gareth’s epic efforts will help fund more ground-breaking research and work towards a screening programme to catch prostate cancer early and save lives.

‘We wish him well and look forward to hearing about his progress.’

To donate to Gareth’s fundraising page, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ggtb2022, or to support Craig, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CraigsBitOfGGTB.

Craig Wilkie, left, joined charity cyclist Gareth Lyon in Kintyre and the pair enjoyed a visit to Gigha.
Craig Wilkie, left, joined charity cyclist Gareth Lyon in Kintyre. The pair also enjoyed a visit to Gigha.