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Plymouth L-plate biker to ride to John O’Groats & back for diabetes

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Plymouth man Stuart Morrisey, 48, a.k.a. ‘Madrider 1961’ is to ride from Plymouth to John O’Groats and back around the August Bank Holiday in aid of leading health charity Diabetes UK, even though he still hasn’t passed his test!

Setting off on Thursday 27 August, riding his Honda CG125cc motorcycle with L-plates and using only ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads, he will set off from Derriford Hospital, Plymouth to Carlisle, on to John O’Groats, back through Inverness, and then on through the Midlands to Land’s End and back home to Plymouth for Sunday 30th August 2009.

Unfortunately, in June 2009 Stuart had to abort his return charity ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats just north of Perth in Scotland due to unforeseen circumstances. Not one to be defeated, Stuart, who has been riding motorcycles since 1993 and who rides with two slipped discs and a damaged vertebra, was determined to undertake a re-run on a solo basis.

“You may ask ‘why Diabetes UK?’ The answer is simple, 'Honeymonster'! - a fellow biker and great friend of mine has diabetes and it was quite a shock when he was diagnosed, not only to him but to his friends as well”, said Stuart.

“I’m a firm believer in helping those who are in a worse position than I am, and although I experience pain on a daily basis, I really enjoy the challenge of raising funds for worthwhile charities.”

Always foremost in Stuart’s mind when he arranges these charity rides is safety. He is always happy for other riders to join him whether it is for only a few miles or for a bigger section of his route, which inevitably brings in a ‘coffee-stop’, a chat and a chance to get the camera out for a few impromptu photos.

Stuart started raising money for charity in 2004 riding from Plymouth to Bolton and back in just 48 hours. 2005 saw him ride solo around England for five days for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, visiting as many RNLI stations on route as possible, raising just under £4,000 and riding almost 2,000 miles.

Diabetes UK South West Manager Jan Tyrrell said: “We are delighted Stuart has decided to dedicate this ride to raising funds to help and support the ever-increasing numbers of people with diabetes across the South West and the rest of the UK.

“Fundraising events such as Stuart’s are crucial in enabling us to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of the 200,000 people in the South West living with diabetes. The condition is becoming more and more prevalent, now affecting three million people in the UK and almost 30,000 in Devon alone.

“We wish him a safe ride and look forward to meeting him back in Plymouth on August 30.”

Still riding on L-plates, Stuart has promised that when he has completed his ride that he will take his test. Stuart has a group of 100 (he’s hoping more) bikers meeting him at Land’s End at lunchtime on 30 August and they will ride the final leg with him back to Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.

Stuart will also be presented with an award for ‘Outstanding thing done on a Motorbike for 2008’ upon his return. He received this award in 2007 and is hoping that this ride will also gain him the title for 2009 - if he achieves this he will be the world record holder.

Stuart’s target is to raise £2,000 for Diabetes UK and can be sponsored via his ‘Justgiving’ site @: www.justgiving.com/stuart-morrissey

Further information on Stuart’s charity rides can be found on his website at www.madrider1961.co.uk

To find out if you are at risk of diabetes visit:

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