Lancashire man embarks on European cycling challenge in support of friend living with muscular dystrophy

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On 15 April, Tim Norton, 68, from Yealand Conyers near Silverdale in Lancashire flew to Gibraltar to begin a 1,700-mile European cycling adventure. From Gibraltar, Tim will cycle approximately 50 miles per day, travelling through Spain, over the Pyrenees, through France and, after getting a ferry across the Channel, through England – completing his challenge and arriving at Gibraltar Farm, near his home in Lancashire on 1 June.

Inspired by his good friend, Andy Newhall who is living with muscular dystrophy, Tim is hoping to raise £1,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK, the leading charity for more than 110,000 people in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle wasting and weakening conditions.

Tim and Andy have known each other since the early 1980s and their friendship is the inspiration for this fundraiser. “Andy and I had known each other for almost 40 years when he was diagnosed with Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) in 2020,” said Tim. “Over the last few years, I’ve seen his life change considerably with reduced mobility and now using a wheelchair. But he remains cheerful, despite living with the challenges of a muscle wasting and weakening condition.

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“I’ve watched Andy’s kids, Abbie and Cris, grow up and when they told me that they were running the London Marathon for Muscular Dystrophy UK, I thought ‘I should do something too’! Running is not my thing but I’m a keen cyclist, so that’s how this European Adventure came about. I’ve been cycling since I was a teenager and have done a few touring trips, but this is the first time I’m going solo and taking on a challenge for charity. I’m also the President of Lancaster Cycling Club, which is celebrating its centenary this year, so this trip is marking that milestone too.”

Tim NortonTim Norton
Tim Norton

Tim has self-funded the trip, so all donations will go to Muscular Dystrophy UK to help fund groundbreaking research and support those living with a muscle wasting condition.

Before leaving the UK, Tim said: “There’s been a lot to prepare but I can’t wait to get started now! Me, a tent, a credit card, overnight stays on camp sites and in other cyclists’ homes. I’m grateful each day, at the age of 68, to be able to do this but I know it’s going to be challenging. I hope to raise as much as I can for Muscular Dystrophy UK so that they can continue supporting people like Andy.”

Follow Tim’s European Adventure at

Find out more about Muscular Dystrophy UK at