When the country first locked down in March 2020 almost everyone found themselves cancelling summer plans. But for one local resident, the national lockdown and cancellation of international flights meant that plans for a charity bike ride across America had to be put on the back burner.
Antony Butcher, who lives in Ilkley, had been planning the ride since 2017 as part of his recovery from a mental health breakdown which was caused in part from a period of isolated working from home.
As large-scale vaccination programmes in both the UK and the United States help to drastically reduce the impact of Covid-19, Antony has said that he is “cautiously optimistic” that he will be able to set off in 2022. Whilst he will be keeping a close eye on how new variants interact with the vaccine, Antony has now started to plan for his ride, reaching out to contacts in America and resuming training, with the hope of setting off in April 2022.
Antony will spend 3 months cycling over 3500 miles across America, starting from New York and finishing in San Francisco. His journey will take him across 3 mountain ranges and through at least 16 states. During his trip he will be speaking with schools and community groups about his journey and the importance of being open about mental health, as well as raising money for the MS Society.