FORMER Tavistock resident Antony Butcher was today deep into a near 4,000-mile labour of love.
Antony set off from New York’s Times Square on Saturday on a solo bike ride across the United States of America.
He is aiming to raise as much money as possible for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, a condition which has afflicted his mum, Teresa Copsey, who used to live in Chapel Street before moving into a nursing home, for decades.
Antony, who was joined by a number of local cyclists for his first day on the road, will spend the next three months riding nearly 4,000 miles, finishing in San Francisco in the middle of July.
His incredible journey will take him across three mountain ranges and through 17 states and he will cycle about 50-70 miles most days, with some longer days in areas where there are long distances between communities.
Antony will be travelling by himself, and most nights he will be staying with Americans who have offered him accomodation for the night.
Antony is primarily raising funds for the MS Society, a cause that is close to his heart as Teresa has been living with MS for more than 30 years, and is now living in a nursing home in Yorkshire.
As well as raising money for charity, Antony is also hoping to raise awareness of mental health. He plans to share his journey with local schools and community groups along the the route, having already shared his journey with more than 1,000 people in West Yorkshire, where he now lives.
Antony said: ‘After five years of planning, it is amazing to finally be on the road, raising money to support life-changing research into Multiple Sclerosis.
‘Setting off from New York was really emotional and its incredible to see the support I’ve had, both in the United States and at home in Ilkley.’
If anyone wants to follow Antony’s journey, they can do this at www.facebook.com/antonyacrossamerica, www.instagram.com/antonyacrossamerica, or www.twitter.com/antonybutcher.
He will also be sharing updates on his website, www.antonyjcbutcher.com. and if people want to sponsor Antony, they can do so at www.justgiving.com/antonyjcbutcher.
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