This weekend is people weekend as far as this blog is concerned. Usually, we concentrate on places we've seen, foods we've eaten, Fethiye, and all the other little extras that come together to make up our life in Turkey. It's all about us, us, us, but this weekend, for today and tomorrow, we shall digress. There are some people who need special mentions and today, we digress because we want to tell you about this man...
...the man in the yellow t-shirt. Meet 61 year old Tom Kelly. Tom is from the same town as us in Northwest England (Wigan). Like us, he also loves Fethiye and has an apartment in the area. However, there's a huge difference between us. We've only ever flown between the UK and Turkey.
Yesterday, we headed into town to welcome Tom Kelly as he arrived into Fethiye on his push bike - he'd ridden all the way from Wigan!
The t-shirt says it all. Over the last few weeks, starting on April 10th, he's cycled 2,500 miles (that's around 4,000 km for all you metric people) all through Europe and down the west coast of Turkey. As his training got underway, Tom Kelly also decided to write a blog about his experiences (Wigan-Fethiye) and his very first post, 'How Did This All Start?' reveals that it was a simple, throwaway comment (with a bit of alcohol in the mix) that resulted in this fantastic achievement. (Achievement enough that he rode his bike between Wigan and Fethiye but to manage a few blog posts along the way...well, we certainly salute that!)
As always seems to be the case, people who take on challenges such as this never seem to think they've done anything particularly special. A great personal achievement but why would anyone else be bothered? As he neared Southwest Turkey, Tom had been warned there would be a little welcome committee awaiting him in Fethiye...
It was an emotional Tom Kelly that pulled up on his bike in Fethiye. Escorted into town by the local cycling club and other supporters, the brass band heralded the end of his epic journey. The crowd clapped and cheered...and Tom got teary. Somehow though, he did manage a speech!
- Tom Kelly did his bike ride to raise money for two local charities, one in Wigan and one in Fethiye.
- Wigan & Leigh Hospice and FIG (Fethiye International Group) will both benefit as a result of Tom's bike ride.