A WIRRAL man has given up his job to fulfil his dream of cycling the full length of the UK coast.
Fifty-seven-year-old Paddy Hehir had no qualms handing in his notice in December as a marketing director to opt for a lifestyle change.
But his challenge is no mean feat as he is cycling the coast of the UK – England, Wales and Scotland with a few Scottish islands too.
His 5,000-mile ride is equivalent to cycling from Liverpool to Calcutta.
He felt the time was right to do the challenge now his two daughters are at university.
Paddy told the News: “I have no regrets giving up my job and I certainly don’t miss the long hours, endless meetings, wasted hours on the motorway and nights at hotels.
“I was working in south Wales and had been doing the job for 10 years. I decided to give it up while I could do the challenge. I’ve only cycled recreationally before, and thought if I left it another 10 years I would be too old.
“I have been training since the new year, doing 50 miles a day each week with one day off. I have lost a stone and a half already.
“The training will make me saddle fit, so it will be the mental side of it I need to overcome of getting on my bike everyday.
“The bike was especially made, it is heavy and strong to withstand the long journey.
“I’ll be carrying all my gear, using four panniers to hold a tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment, cycle spares and clothing.
“I aim to cycle 50 miles a day and travelling clockwise with the prevailing SW winds. I’ll finish in about three or four months. My wife Diana is meeting me in Scotland and maybe Cornwall, hopefully she will join me more often so I can stay in a hotel.”
Paddy sets off on his adventure on Easter Monday, and is raising money for a cause close to his heart – Alzheimer’s Society – in memory of his mum, Pat.
His target is £1,000 and already he has £500, but he has now raised the bar to £5,000 goal.
Paddy added: “My mum had Alzheimer’s. To see someone disappearing before you, and suffer a slow death is horrible.
“Money for this good cause will help find a cure, the sooner the better.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, I just want to get out there and do it now.
“I’m sure there will be lots of people cheering me on.
“The challenge will clear my head and give me a new lease of life to know what job I want to do next.”
Paddy will record his adventure with a photographic blog. To follow him visit: thehehirybiker.wordpress.com
Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/ paddy-hehir