For those familiar with mountain biking in the Peak District, the routes around Mam Tor, Cut Gate, Buxton, and Macclesfield Forest represent some of the most scenic and challenging rides in the country. They are, in the words of Jon Barton – author of the Dark and White Peak Mountain guides: ‘big, tough rides. That’ll probably take you all day’. This month, Peak District MTB is calling on its members to support someone who is planning to ride these routes in a very unique way.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Alan Thompson – a 75 year old Buxton resident and self-confessed lover of the Peak District – is challenging himself to ride not 1, but all 19 of the routes identified in the ‘enduro’ category of Jon Barton’s Peak District mountain bike guide books. The ‘Riding out of Lockdown’ event will be launched on 26th September in Pavilion gardens at 11am, and will finish on the 31st October, and is being undertaken to raise money for those in Buxton who have most suffered most from the implications of Covid-19.
In an interview with Peak District MTB, Alan suggested that:
“I started to get concerned about what would happen when the peak of Covid-19 had passed and its impact on the people of the town (of Buxton). So I decided we should try and bring the community closer together and to help with people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, there is very little funding for things like this at the moment, and many who undertake work in this area do so on a voluntary basis without any support, so I was looking to see how we could help. After consultation with a number of local voluntary community organisations we came up with the idea of doing this ride. Sponsoring an old man to carry out such a long, difficult challenge I believe will have a unique appeal, and I hope this will lead to a lot of money being raised for some important causes.”
Riding Out of Lockdown
Specifically, all funds raised as part of the challenge will help to secure the future of Connex Community Support, Buxton’s own charity delivering direct support to all members of our community, Buxton Street By Street, a group of volunteers who help those in need during the Covid19 lockdown, and Connected Buxton a new website that aims to connect all segments of the community and assist those most in need.
If you are interested in donating, or would like to find out more about Alan’s challenge, you can do so through a dedicated website: https://www.alans-challenge.org.uk/ You can also follow Alan’s progress via regular video updates that will be posted to YouTube videos. Finally, if you can spare some time between the dates above, Alan is looking for volunteers to ride alongside him during certain stages, and to assist in recording videos of the ride.
Willing volunteers are being asked to contact Alan directly using the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of anoifphotography
More about the beneficiaries
The Buxton Kickstart initiative is bringing community organisations together to add to those organisations on the front line helping people directly and indirectly effected by the Covid19 pandemic. Two organisations have been directly supporting the needy and vulnerable people of Buxton and nearby villages, Connex Community Support and Buxton Street By Street.
Connex Community Support have been helping people in the High Peak and Derbyshire Dales since 1988. In a typical year Connex provides help and support to nearly 5,000 people which includes: 63,000 hours of community care, 14,000 journeys for elderly and vulnerable people, 16,500 hours of befriending, 280 volunteers, 340 people introduced to 250 voluntary organisations. Connex have a constant struggle to maintain their service levels. Your fundraising will ease the burden.
Buxton Street by Street is a grass-roots initiative which galvanised the help of 200 volunteers and ensured that every residential street in Buxton has received Viral Kindness fliers offering shopping, befriending, IT and other socially distanced support to those most in need. BSBS joined forces with Zink at High Peak Food Bank to ensure that 1,645 food parcels have reached those who need them most and have a PPE arm in partnership with For the Love of Scrubs. Staffed entirely by volunteers, many are compelled to return to paid employment. Your contributions will see BSBS continue its fantastic community support.
Connected Buxton is a website being developed to make the ambitious plans of Buxton Kickstart a reality. There are websites that feature aspects of Buxton but none exist that puts the community at the centre, connecting everybody to every part of Buxton life. When the website is up and running everyone will have a reason to use Connected Buxton.
These are the focus of Alan’s Challenge. Their future and the amazing support they give to our community will be more assured with you help.