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68-year-old Yorkshireman prepares to complete 'Vyking' challenge… in his back garden

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Tony Cotterill poses on his turbo bike in the garden while wearing an Action cycling jersey.

Last month, children’s charity Action Medical Research postponed its inaugural ‘Vyking’ bike ride in North Yorkshire because of the coronavirus crisis.

But Action supporter, and Richmond resident, Tony Cotterill is determined to complete his ride from the comfort of his own back garden: “I’ve got a Specialise Diverge gravel bike which will be mounted on a Tacx turbo trainer and I can see the Swale valley from my garden. It should look like a ride through Yorkshire even if I do not move.

“I enjoy keeping fit and this will be a good way to safely complete the challenge without transgressing the Covid restrictions. I won’t get the benefit of seeing the Howardian Hills, but at least I can get quick access to a shower afterwards!”

Tony, 68, is the Founder and Chairman of BridgeHead Software.

The company adopted Action as its charity in 2013 and has so far raised around £40,000. This year it hopes to raise a minimum of £7,500

“BridgeHead is a software company that works in the healthcare environment and I’m a father of three and a grandfather of four. Thankfully we were spared any critical infant illnesses.

"I think Action is a fantastic charity and I really hope we can hit the target we have set for this year. Even this current crisis we’re facing won’t stop us from trying.”

This won’t be Tony’s first fundraising challenge for Action Medical Research.

The keen cyclist and runner has taken part in the charity’s ‘Race The Sun’ events for the past seven years.

The Vyking bike ride was due to take place on Sunday 19 April at Ampleforth College, with two routes – 58 and 100 miles – across North Yorkshire.

An alternative date is still being finalised. More details can be found on Action’s Events Update webpage.

Action Medical Research has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.

Action is currently funding research into areas including premature birth, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.

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