Wigan's 'mad cyclist' shows no signs of slowing down as he celebrates 67th birthday on his bike
Self-proclaimed “mad cyclist” Tony O’Dwyer may be looking forward to his 70th birthday, but he has no plans to hang up his helmet just yet.
The 67-year-old from Scholes has been an avid cyclist for years and has clocked up almost 2,300 miles riding in aid of a number of charities.
His commitment has seen him raise hundreds of pounds for The Christie by taking part in its annual Manchester to Blackpool bike ride an impressive 37 times!
Last month he tackled the ride on his 67th birthday and is now aiming to finish at least 40 events, which would coincide with him turning 70 in 2025.
Tony said: “I’ve done this ride so many times as it’s for a cause we may all need at some point. The work that they do at The Christie is nothing short of brilliant.”
Tony started participating in the event on his trusty 46-year-old bike, which is named Glodean, 37 years ago and has since clocked up 2,294 miles in total.
Back then the ride was known as the Granada Wheel Appeal, before being taken over by Bike Events 26 years ago.
Tony has done many extra miles cycling to Manchester from Wigan before starting the event and returning to Wigan from Blackpool afterwards, which he has done 15 times.
Despite the route changing over the years, Tony has continued to do the original course for a number of years, believing it should not be tampered with.
He said: "I always set off from the Albert as that is the authentic route, but does mean I cycle two extra miles as the new route is only 60 miles.
"Ideally I’d finish at North Pier in Blackpool but that is unfortunately not possible, meaning I finish at the Globe each time. Stopping at the Windmill for a drink two miles from the finish is tradition!”
Experienced in cycling, this is not the only event that Tony has taken part in.
His most difficult challenge was a trip from one end of Switzerland to the other, totalling 3,760 miles and taking seven-and-a-half weeks to complete.