Northumberland man gearing up for 60-mile bike ride for charity

A Northumberland man who started cycling a couple of years ago is gearing up for his biggest challenge yet – all in aid of charity.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 27th August 2021, 9:00 am
Peter Tracey, who is taking part in the Great North Bike Ride in aid of ShelterBox.

Peter Tracey admits he is what some might call a weekend cyclist, taking up the hobby a couple of years ago.

The 76-year-old enjoys getting out for a few kilometres and stopping off at coffee shops on the way.

But now he is challenging himself by taking part in the Great North Bike Ride.

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Peter will be cycling 100 kilometres from Seahouses, all along the beautiful Northumberland coastline, to Tynemouth on Sunday, August 29.

He is taking part in the ride to help raise money for disaster relief charity ShelterBox.

Peter has a long standing interest in international development, including a 16 year membership of Rotary International, who are ShelterBox’s partner.

And he is keen to not only raise vital funds for the charity but promote their work.

Peter said: “The basic concept of ShelterBox appeals to me.

"When people, wherever they are, are devastated by a disaster through no fault of their own, they need to get back on their feet, and ShelterBox can help them get going again in the short term.

"Long term restructuring is always necessary, but its useless if people don't/can't survive the first days, weeks and months of a disaster.

"So the idea of instant, immediate relief and help to give people a step on the ladder to recovery, to give hope and dignity to those afflicted is a powerful humanitarian impulse.

"And ShelterBox was founded by a Rotary Club. It is well supported by Rotary Clubs across the world, and as a Rotarian I can promote the idea and practice of ShelterBox with some genuine pride and conviction.”

As well as raising vital funds for ShelterBox, the challenge is a personal one, as part of his commitment to health despite advancing years and a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes.

To build up his fitness and stamina Peter tries to do two longish rides each week, as well as walking three rounds of golf. Rather than racing to the finish line, he will be aiming to “finish before the sun goes down”.

He added: “The sponsorship through Just Giving has been very encouraging, and as the day of the Ride gets nearer it is still growing, meaning that there is no going back.

"So I look forwards to finding more coffee shops en route, and to finishing at Tynemouth, a beautiful seaside place, and then having a pint in the pub.”

Peter set out to raise £400 but so far his online fundraising has reached £1,425.

To support Peter and ShelterBox visit

Through promoting the event he has discovered a real interest in the issues of overseas support and ShelterBox’s work, and has been invited to go to a number of events and meetings to speak further, demonstrating the importance of what he and the charity are doing.

Peter has a double sapphire Paul Harris Fellowship and shall be president of the Rotary Club of Newcastle in 2021-22. He is the District 1020 representative, and chose to lead by example and do this challenge to encourage others.