61 year old Tom Kelly completes epic 2500 mile solo bike ride

30 May 2012

Tom Kelly's 42 day solo ride in aid of Wigan & Leigh Hospice took him via Rotterdam, the Rhine Valley, Holland, Germany, Bavaria, the Danube, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, the Black Sea, and finally Fethiye in Northern Turkey. A mere 2,500 miles!

Tom Kelly finish

All proceeds are from this epic endeavour are to be split between Wigan & Leigh Hospice and a local Turkey children's charity called Fethiye International Group.

Tom sends this message from the 'finish line'…

"A large group of local English cyclists, together with the local Turkish Cycling Club, greeted me at 14.00 on Friday 25th May in Çiftlik on the outskirts of Fethiye.  We were escorted by the local Fethiye Traffic Police.

The time came and I set off. After ten minutes I rode in to warm applause and just the right amount of backslapping. I was presented with a yellow tee shirt announcing my achievement and we all set off around the town with a police car in front leading the way. There were pockets of people at a number of junctions cheering and clapping and I actually became slightly emotional once or twice. Horns were honking as we rode into Fethiye and the crowd at the Fethiye Evi was amazing. There was a brass band playing and cameras clicking and people cheering and clapping. I was stood there with a genuine grin on my face, slightly, no, more than slightly, embarrassed but loving it all the same".

The final stage

"This final stage of an epic journey was to be a short, flat ride of 12 km or so accompanied by members of the Fethiye Cycling Club and other groups and various members of the public. It was the toughest day of them all. I was apprehensive all morning and just wanted to get it over with. I am not into speeches, photos and interviews and videos etc, but I knew it had to be done to maximise the income for the charities. "

Waiting to welcome Tom at the end of his epic marathon were the 'FIG' committee & members, 'FETAV' representatives, dignitaries from both the local municipality and provincial authority together with the Honorary British Consul.

It was a great day, a truly wonderful and heartwarming occasion and a day I will never forget, but then there have been forty two days preceding this day that I will never forget either"

Mission accomplished

"The deed is done. I have achieved what I set out to do, which was to ride from my home in Wigan, UK to my other home in Calis Beach, Fethiye, Turkey, a distance of approximately 2,500 miles or 4,000 km.

Thank you to everybody who has shown their support along the way. On occasions I felt all of the good wishes behind me in the form of a helping hand pushing me along. There were times I needed a helping hand and it was very much appreciated"

Dedicated Charities

"I have finished now and will enjoy a little holiday here in Calis beach, but the people who work for these charities, Wigan and Leigh Hospice and the Fethiye International Group, will be out there tomorrow and the day after and the day after that, etc, doing what they do, which is quite simply to give up their time to make other people's lives better. I just hope that anyone who has read and enjoyed this story has made an appropriate contribution which will enable them to continue to carry out their wonderful work.

Julie Houston, Wigan & Leigh Hospice Community Support Officer, said, "This is a remarkable achievement by Tom.  We are delighted that he has completed his amazing cycling marathon.  Looking at the map of his route is daunting enough.  To think that he has cycled the whole route solo is amazing.  The Hospice send our very best wishes and congratulations and hope he can now park up his bike and have a well-earned rest on the beach!"

Tom has kept a daily log on an online 'blogspot'. Why not also get a snapshot of Toms route via the Social Hiking website


top of page