Paragliding fan Stuart Rigg will come down to earth for a 1,000-mile solo bike ride for the North West Air Ambulance.
Dad-of-three Stuart (39), of Whitewell Drive, Clitheroe, aims to cycle with no back-up team from Hook of Holland to Andermat in Switzerland covering 65 to 80 miles a day through Holland, Germany, France Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
He is taking two weeks away from his business as a self-employed electrician to do it, starting on May 30th.
“I came across the route on the internet,” said Stuart.
“It’s called Eurovelo 15, and I’m doing it on my own, stopping at campsites on the way or maybe the odd hotel if I need a shower.”
Stuart is passionate about supporting the North West Air Ambulance. He is a member of Pennine Soaring Club, paragliding most fine weekends at spots such as Pendle, Parlick Pike, Longridge Fell, the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District.
One of his paragliding friends had a serious accident on Pendle Hill and was rescued by the air ambulance. The incident was on television in “Helicopter Heroes”.
Stuart survived a serious accident himself about 18 years ago, not paragliding but on a bicycle on a back road near Chaigley, suffering a punctured lung and head injuries which put him off work for three months.
Now he is back in the saddle regularly, on a road bike hand-built last year to his own specifications.
He said: “I’m upping my training and doing 40 or 50-mile round trips round the Trough of Bowland.”
Stuart’s wife, Tracey, who is organising the fund-raising for him, said: “The accident with Stuart’s friend really brought it home that the air ambulance is vital. The service gets no funding at all, so it relies on voluntary support.”
Stuart’s site for donations is justgiving.com/tracey-rigg