76-year-old who has not ridden bike for 55 years takes on cycling challenge in memory of his wife

Brian Jackson is cycling 2019 miles to raise awareness of MND. Picture: MNDA

Brian Jackson is cycling 2019 miles to raise awareness of MND. Picture: MNDA - Credit: Archant

A 76-year-old who has not ridden a bike for 55 years is attempting to cycle across East Anglia, Cambridgeshire and the Midlands, as part of his aim to ride 2019 miles this year for charity and in memory of his wife.

Brian Jackson, from Sheffield, is raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease [MND] Association after losing his wife Chris, to the terminal illness in 2012. She lived with MND for only 16 months after diagnosis.

Mr Jackson said: "It was a devastating time for us all, but friends and numerous other people, plus our faith, helped us to cope with the challenges that MND brings.

"The help of the Motor Neurone Disease Association was particularly appreciated with its practical help and support. I'm taking on this challenge with the intention of raising money to help people who find themselves faced with Motor Neurone Disease, and to help fund research into the disease."

Mr Jackson has raised almost £15,000 for the MND Association and in 2015, he wore shorts for an entire year, earning him the nickname of BareLegsBrian.

Despite not riding a bike for more than 55 years, he will be undertaking a seven day cycle tour between August 31 to September 6 starting in Thetford, stopping in specific locations to spell out the words 'BEAT MND'.

He will travel to Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Alconbury, Thrapston, Market Harborough, Northampton and Daventry to complete his challenge.

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Denise Davies, head of community fundraising at the MND Association, said: "Without the amazing continued support of people like Brian the MND Association simply would not be able to provide its vital support services, fund research to find a cure and campaign and raise awareness of MND. Together we are making a real difference for people affected by this devastating disease."

MND is a fatal disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, attacking the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work.

It kills a third of people within a year and more than half within two years of diagnosis. It affects up to 5,000 adults in the UK at any one time and kills six people every day.

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BareLegsBrian