Rotary member Ken Robertshaw likes a challenge.
The adventurous Yorkshire-man has kayaked 2,350 miles down the Mississippi, and suffered near frostbite while dog sledging some 200 miles above the Arctic Circle – all for charity.
Now Ken, who is a member of Rotary Halifax, has his sights set on a different sort of adventure, cycling down US Highway 1 from Maine to Florida.
This time, he is raising money for the Theodora Children’s Charity.
Ken explained: “I have been a long-time supporter of the charity and its aim of bringing fun and laughter to children who are unfortunate enough to be undergoing hospital or hospice stays.”
The Arctic trip raised £12,000 which enabled Theodora Children’s Charity to be established at the Leeds General Infirmary.
The Mississippi trip in 2014 has realised over £100K over the last 4.5 years and has ensured that the Giggle Doctors keep appearing, not just at Bradford and Leeds but around the country.
US Highway 1 rises at the Canadian border and was part of the first federal highway system in the USA in the 1920s.
The route runs through the 13 States down the east coast terminating at Key West.
At this point the road is 90 miles from Havana, Cuba and over 1,000 from Washington DC.
Ken is planning to begin the cycle trip in July, and taking eight weeks to cover the 2,500 mile route – coincidentally, it is the 25th year of the Theodora Children’s Charity.
Ken explained: “I shall be covering 300 miles per week at a rate of 60 miles per day and plan to finish each week in a town that has a Rotary club.
“I am in the process of contacting these clubs to ask if they can help at the weekends, which will be rest days.
“I need to use Saturday as a rest/repair/clean day, but on the Sunday I will be inviting the ‘host’ club to organise a small ride of 25 miles around a park or similar at which I will propose to them that they use this as a fundraising event for their club or charity of choice and a chance for young people to meet the ‘crazy Englishman’.”
Ken will be carrying a tent and some provisions with him for the bike trip.
But he will be reaching out to Rotary clubs to help with accommodation and land on which to camp.
He added: “Unlike my other expeditions, there is not a great deal of wilderness to cope with but there are other challenges to face.
“The major cities, including the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., have to be negotiated and there long stretches of empty highway.
“This will be the aim of my exploration; not to bring the wilderness to people, but to bring them a view of parts of the country that they would not otherwise visit.
“No matter how well we think we know it, the USA is still capable of producing surprises.”