Two pensioners are gearing up for an epic bike ride in Europe in honour of the German psychiatrist who identified what is now widely known as Alzheimer’s disease.
Roger Cooper, 67, from Havant and Pete Scott, 66, from Waterlooville, plan to cycle 1,915km in honour of the contribution to medical science by Dr Aloysius ‘Alois’ Alzheimer, who was born in Bavaria in 1864 and died in Poland in December 1915.
The challenge starts in mid-September and will raise money for dementia charity, the Alzheimer’s Society.
The charity cycle from Poland to Ports-mouth coincides with the 100th anniversary of the death of the German psychiatrist.
The pair – who have nicknamed themselves Mad Old Pensioners In Lycra (MOPIL) – rode around the Isle of Wight on Sunday as part of their training.
Roger explained: ‘We thought that, while the rest of the country was glued to the America’s Cup, we would make the most of the island’s undulating terrain as a relatively quiet practice route – although we didn’t really bargain on such dreadful weather.’
Roger planned the 1,915km route carefully, aiming to take in cities and regions that were important to Dr Alzheimer during his lifetime and to raise a fitting £1,915 in the process.
Starting in Wrocław, the south-western Polish city where Dr Alzheimer died, Roger and Pete will cycle unaccompanied through Germany and France, then travel across the Channel from Caen to Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries, which has donated the cost of their tickets.
On the way they will pass through the town of Marktbreit, Dr Alzheimer’s birthplace, as well as the German universities of Berlin, Aschaffenburg and Würzburg.
Roger said: ‘The work of the Alzheimer’s Society is especially important to me because my father, who died last year, was an Alzheimer’s sufferer. I hope our cycle ride will be a fitting tribute to his memory as he was so full of life and would have loved to hear all about an adventure like this.’
To donate, visit justgiving.com/teams/mopil.