Partner wanted for lone rider Alan

On his bike: Alan Whittaker

On his bike: Alan Whittaker

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A former mayor who is set to cycle a thousand miles to Chorley’s twin town in Hungary has hit his first glitch.

Alan Whittaker is due to embark on the gruelling challenge on May 1, but his riding partner has been forced to pull out at the eleventh hour.

He’s now appealing for a keen cyclist to join the fundraising effort and take on the arduous route that will pass through Holland, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic en route to Hungary and the final destination of Szekesfehervar.

The month-long ride, which Alan hopes will raise around £5,000, will coincide with the Royal British Legion’s 90th anniversary.

The money raised will be split between the Legion and Chorley-based charity Help the Homeless.

The former chair of Lancashire County Council said: “I’m not very practically minded myself, so I’m particularly hoping for someone who is good at maintaining bikes, changing tyres and chains, things like that.”

The veteran and former politician is also looking for someone to provide a camper van for the month. He added: “As part of my training I have been riding from Heskin to Southport and back three or four times a week. I’m very lucky because I can ride in the beautiful countryside.

“There’s a great camaraderie among cyclists, and lots of wonderful tea bars you can stop off at for refreshments.

“If anyone’s looking to get fit then I highly recommend cycling.”

The 67-year-old hopes the people of Chorley will support the project.

He said: “I’ve only just got the sponsorship forms, so I’m writing to lots of people. I’m going to be waved off from the Town Hall steps by the mayor, and hopefully Chorley’s MP Lindsay Hoyle can make it too.

“Chorley people are always very generous. I’ve already had someone ring up and make a donation of £50, which was wonderful.”

Alan admitted being a little apprehensive, but also excited by the challenge, saying he was particularly looking forward to riding the scenic Elbe cyclepath through Germany.

To sponsor the ride or find out more visit www.justgiving.com/Alan-Whittaker.