Intrepid farmer is gearing up for an epic solo cycle

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A farmer is gearing up for a mammoth cycle ride to raise funds for Alnwick Infirmary’s oncology unit.

Richard Hodgson will tackle a 600-mile unsupported solo bike ride from Marshall Meadows Bay, in Berwick, to Land’s End, Cornwall.

He begins his epic journey on Monday, and his inspiration is personal. The 52-year-old, who farms at Red Steads, Howick, said: “My sister-in-law, Nicola, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and was treated at the oncology unit.

“She recovered, but even now still has appointments there. It is a relatively new facility, but very important.

“As time goes on, so many more friends are being diagnosed with cancer and many are treated in Alnwick, so the oncology unit is a great facility to raise money for.”

He has so far raised more than £2,000. Last week, £1,000 was raised at a Percy Farmers’ Cricket Club luncheon, while Simpsons Malt, Rickerby and Lloyd Ltd have been supportive, as has Andy Harmieson, who has offered a return train ticket from Penzance in collaboration with Northern and CrossCountry.

To donate, visit www.just giving.com/crowdfunding/richard-hodgson-2 or leave a cheque (made out to Caroline’s comet) or cash at Sportsworld, Alnwick, or his farm.

Eight years ago, he cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End for the children’s cancer ward at Newcastle’s RVI, in memory of his wife’s cousin’s three-year-old son, Henry, who had leukaemia.