Wiltshire man with muscular and skeletal rheumatoid arthritis cycling 1,400 miles for addictions treatment centre

A man from Wiltshire with muscular and skeletal rheumatoid arthritis is cycling 1,400 miles during lockdown to raise funds for The Salvation Army’s Gloucester House addictions treatment centre.

55-year-old Richard Young is a night support worker at the Highworth centre but is currently self-isolating at home because of his illness.

So he has decided to cycle the distance from John O’ Groats to Land’s End, also taking in the Orkneys, the Isle of Wight and Isle of Man, using a training bike set up on his patio.

I little apprehensive but determined. I am very stubborn. I know it's going to be painful, but I have lived with chronic pain since my 30's. I always say I can handle pain as long as it doesn’t hurt me, if you know what I mean.

Richard Young
Racking up the miles: Richard on his static bike. Credit: Salvation Army

Richard started cycling last year as he recovered from a spinal injury which left him unable to play his favourite sport of bowls.

Now, well and truly on the road to recovery, he is racking up the miles with the support of his wife Linda and his son Isaac and daughters Georgia and Isy.

Richard said: “My son who loves cycling suggested to me a while ago that we could ride from Land’s End to John O'Groats and so the seed was planted.

"Just before lockdown I had started cycling once a day for exercise and then I got the letter to say I had to stay in the house and by then lockdown was in place."

Watch him go! Richard is live streaming every leg of his challenge. Credit: Salvation Army / Youtube

Richard is live streaming the 42-plus legs of his challenge so that friends and family can chart his progress.

I have had some tough days but the people on the live stream always lift me - the little but loyal group of friends that come online have been amazing.

Richard Young
Richard's rig on his patio. Credit: Salvation Army

Richard will finish his his ride with a marathon 55-mile leg on Sunday 21 June and says he is looking forward to spending time with his wife when it’s all over.

He added: "With all the planning and setting up it can take 6 to 10 hours a day, 6 days a week for the rides, so she deserves a lot of my time and I will return the favour when I support her at the national bowls finals"