A 68-year-old cyclist from Lenzie is taking on a poignant 3000km ride for a cancer charity this month.
Ken MacEwen plans to cycle from Gibraltar to Glasgow in just 30 days.
The retired PE teacher will be completing the cross-Europe challenge alone after his cycling friend, also from Lenzie, died suddenly last year.
Ken, who is a cancer survivor himself, said: “Gordon ‘Hendo’ Henderson and I had planned to do a big challenge together for charity this year.
“I came up with the idea of cycling from Gibraltar, where I lived as a child, to our homes in Lenzie.
“Very sadly, my dear friend, who was very fit, died suddenly of heart failure while cycling in Spain last April.”
Ken is still determined to complete the ride solo and is raising money for Cancer Research UK.
He said: “I have lost numerous close friends to various cancers and I have also overcome testicular cancer myself.
“Already, I have raised £5000 for the charity but I want to raise a considerable amount more.” Ken, who was head of PE at Lenzie Academy from 1979 to 1987, has called the challenge “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”.
He said: “The start is the Rock of Gibraltar and the finish, Glasgow, was historically renowned as place of hard men.
“It’s not like that now but it will also be a very hard cycle for me to reach my home city.”
Leaving Gibraltar today (Wednesday, May 1), Ken will ride north through the length of Spain. He will face a steady climb towards the Extremadura region of western Spain and then the arduous mountains of Northern Spain.
From there, he will cycle the west coast of France to reach Roscoff in Brittany before taking a ferry to Plymouth on the south coast of England.
Ken’s charity ride will head north to finally reach Scotland.
The ride will be unsupported, which means he will carry all his own kit with him. He hopes to make use of hostels and guest houses each night.
He will be joined by friends and family at different points during the ride, including his son Hamish who will cycle some of the route with him.
His wife, May, and Hendo’s wife Anne, will follow the bike journey by car in France.
Ken, who has two grown-up children and two grandchildren, is a veteran of many endurance races, including an Ironman, six Half Ironmans and two marathons.
To donate see: fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/kens-giving-page-11.