At the start of lockdown Julian Cork, COO of Landbay, had a knee operation to fix a meniscal tear - the resultant lack of exercise coupled with a developing chocolate digestive addiction during work from home prompted him to do something about getting fit again... So, in June he purchased a bike on eBay and set off into the Chilterns.
While he was still contemplating tackling a long-distance ride, his mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
That life changing diagnosis was the stimulus for Julian and three companions to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats, a distance of 1,554.69km (959.8 miles), which they achieved over 10 days. During the 68 hours of cycling the group climbed the equivalent of 4.7 base camp to Everest ascents, were rained on for 9 days, chased by storm Ellen and navigated the UKs highest road – the Cairnwell Pass over the Glenshee ski area. Julian set up a just giving page for sponsorship to raise as much as possible for Parkinson’s UK.
Parkinson’s is the second most common degenerative neurological condition after Alzheimer’s. The visible symptoms of tremor, slowness, stiffness, drooped posture, and freezing when walking are easily recognised but there are over 40 different symptoms which people with PD might experience, many of which are not visible.
At present there is no cure, nor any treatment that can slow, stop, or reverse the relentless progression of the condition. Julian hopes that the money he is raising can support vital research so that better treatments or a cure will be found. His contribution is especially valuable now as lockdown has resulted in the cancellation of most large fundraising events.
The charity’s income is seriously reduced whilst demand on its services has increased. Parkinson’s can be a very isolating condition even in normal times so the various online activities arranged by the local groups have played a vital role in maintaining mental and physical wellbeing.
Julian’s Just Giving page is still open and gives lots of information about his epic ride including links to each of the Strava segments. All donations would be gratefully received.