A former Royal Marine wheeled into Doncaster as part of a gruelling 550 mile bike ride between Scotland and Portsmouth.
Christopher MacMillan, 51, went the extra few miles to celebrate the Marines’ 350th anniversary and raise money for veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress by cycling the 550 miles from RM Condor, Arbroath to HQ Royal Marines Portsmouth (Whale Island) accompanied by daughter Danielle (21) and friend Alan Twaddle.
The team passed through Edinburgh, York, Doncaster, Northampton, Oxford and Winchester before finishing in Portsmouth.
The idea for the venture started when Christopher’s parents rescued a ‘tired’ recumbent bicycle from the Portsmouth Community Cycle Centre and sent it to their son as a winter time refurbishment project suggesting that he could then ride it back to Portsmouth.
After months of painstaking work assisted by Steve Smith in Arbroath’s Angus Bike Chain cycle shop, the recumbent bicycle was put back on the road in early 2014 and when Christopher announced that he would ride it back to Portsmouth, daughter Danielle (retail manager) and her boy friend Allan (care worker) said they would take holiday leave to cycle alongside Christopher on the journey.
In true Marine style the three decided to be self supporting for the seven day journey starting at Condor gates last Sunday amd then travelling up to 90 miles per day and sleeping in tents being towed in trailers behind the bikes.
When retiring from the Royal Marines after 23 years service Christopher retrained as an HGV driver and works for A.G. Barr delivering Scotland’s second favourite tipple IRN-BRU round North East of Scotland. When asked why he chose to support Combat Stress Christopher said: “I feel that I have been fortunate not to have suffered any mental disorders associated with service life but have seen families and colleagues having to deal with conflict demons so thought our fun ride provides an opportunity to raise awareness and some funds for the wonderful vital recuperative work done by Combat Stress.”
Donations can be made to www.justgiving.com/Cycling-because or text MACT93 £(amount)to 70070.
Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for Veterans. Founded in 1919, it is currently providing specialist clinical treatment and welfare support to more than 5,400 Veterans across the UK. Combat Stress treats conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorders. Its services are free of charge to every Veteran.