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Mammoth ride for Dales National Park worker

[Wednesday 06 September 2006]

A Yorkshire Dales National Park officer has just got back to work after a cycle ride of a lifetime - straight across the USA.

52-year-old Bill Crosby - a planning enforcement officer based at the YDNPA's Bainbridge office - is pleased as punch that he has finished the 3,923-mile journey because he can now collect the cash he has raised for charity.

Bill set out with former Durham police colleague Alan Penman to raise as much as they could for the Brain and Spine Foundation in memory of a colleague on the Durham force who died from a brain tumour.

On the actual trip we were averaging 85 miles a day and sometimes we were cycling in temperatures of 103F across the Nevada desert

Bill Crosby - Charity fundraiser

The Authority gave Bill six weeks of unpaid leave and plenty of moral support for the trek from San Francisco to Portsmouth in New Hampshire.

"It was a fantastic experience," Bill said.

"The hardest part was the training because I'm not an out-and-out cyclist - I just do it to keep fit but I had never done any great distances.

"We started at Christmas - I was doing 90 minutes every day and 80 or 90 mile rides when we could.

"On the actual trip we were averaging 85 miles a day and sometimes we were cycling in temperatures of 103F across the Nevada desert.

"It was absolutely brilliant once you realised you could do the distance every day.

"It's not like doing a trip in a car - you have the fresh air and the sights and sounds."

Bill, who lives in Middleton in Teesdale, and Alan, from Sedgefield, have so far raised nearly £4,000 for the Foundation, which was set up in 1992 to develop research, education and information programmes to improve the prevention, treatment and care of people affected by brain and spine disorders.

"There is still some money coming in so we will probably top £4,000," he said.

His colleagues at the YDNPA have done their bit to help the fundraising and were sending emails to the pair all the way through their 52-day trek.

"The emails and messages I had from everyone helped to make the miles go past very quickly and they made the daily challenge a lot easier," he said.

Peter Watson, YDNPA Head of Planning, said: "We would like to congratulate Bill - it is an impressive achievement in a good cause."

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the charity can send a cheque payable to The Brain and Spine Foundation to Bill at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Yoredale, Bainbridge, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3EL and he will forward it to the charity.

The pair completed the ride thanks to a specialist cycle trek company called America By Bike that laid on support vehicles, accommodation and equipment

Bill and Alan also received a lot of help and support from Martin Lewin of KUDU Bikes in Hawes who prepared the bikes for the trip and gave both riders all the advice they needed for long distance cycling.

Your views:

  • What a great idea. All the planning enforcement officers riding bikes across deserts.

    Anonymous -

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