Brightons family’s marathon cycle pays off for Parkinson’s funds

George Haggarty and grandson Lewis Crawford take a break on their journey north
George Haggarty and grandson Lewis Crawford take a break on their journey north
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Three generations of a Brightons family hit the cycle route to John o’ Groats for the adventure of a lifetime.

Braes High School pupil Lewis Crawford (16) joined his stepdad Stephen Allan (42) and his granddad George Haggarty (71) on the seven-day, 362-mile ride, raising £650 for Parkinsons UK in memory of George’s late mother-in-law Martha Johnston.

Retired council roads worker George, from Maddiston, was the driving force behind the cycle and his catchphrase “it’s all downhill from here” was heard many times on the journey.

Stephen, who works at Syngenta in Grangemouth, said: “George has cycled for years and he would always tell us about his love for the bike and the trips he had been on. He was telling us he was thinking of going up north for this summer’s trip and asked if Lewis and I would fancy going with him.”

George said: “I told them, love it or hate it you will never forget it.”

Training began in earnest earlier this year.

Lewis said: “I would come home from school and get out on the bike.”

Stephen said: “We went out quite a bit to get the miles on the legs.”

The challenge began on Thursday, July 24, with a cycle to Dunblane and then on to Pitlochry. Staying in hostels at night and cycling throughout the day, the trio made it to John o’ Groats by Wednesday, with the weather on their side for the most part.

Stephen said: “It’s one of the highlights of my life. We’re definitely going to do it again next year, maybe doing a different route and raising money for a different charity.”

Lewis has been bitten by the fundraising bug and has now signed up for a swimming challenge in Loch Lomond for Yorkhill Children’s Hospital.