220 miles on a unicycle across Scotland in 6 days starting from the Mull of Galloway and finishing on the East Coast. Over huge hills, gravel tracks, busy main roads, large towns, tiny villages, forests, valleys, coast lines, disused railway lines, country lanes, wind(lots) rain (wee bit), sun, tents, guest houses, caravans, pubs, foot clinics, restaurants, ration packs, cans of soup, kebabs, skinny dipping, golf, pain, tiredness, frustration, upset, happiness huge smiles, lots of laughter and really smelly feet!
That’s the short version of how Coldstream’s Ollie Green explains his mammoth challenge which he successfully completed last month, having raised over £9,000 in the process for Save the Children’s “Syrian Crisis” appeal.
Ollie will tell you that he made the decision to make this “bonkers and nearly impossible” ride after seeing TV images he will never forget: the body of a young boy the same age as his daughter washed up on the beach in Turkey. The boy’s parents so desperate to get him to safety and to a better life that they got aboard such a dangerous boat and unfortunately came to the same fate as thousands of others that have lost their life trying to flee Syria. “I always thought of myself as a lucky person and this made me realise it even more. It is very clear that millions of innocent people have had their lives ruined. I know the amount of money that I have raised is an almost insignificant drop in the ocean, but if it can go toward improving the life of a few people for a while it was worth doing, I also hope that I have raised a bit of awareness of the situation refugees are facing and hopefully change some peoples’ attitudes.”
When asked what the best part of the journey was, Ollie said “While riding the mile before I got to my house at the end of day 5, I was really feeling great knowing I was about to see Kerry (my partner) and Zoe (my daughter) who I hadn’t seen since they waved me off from my start point, I also knew that the following day was my shortest day with 18 miles, so I was definitely going to make my schedule. Then it suddenly occurred to me that 6 months ago, this stretch of road was the place where I came up with the seemingly impossible idea of “Unicycling Across Scotland for Syrian Children”! At the time I couldn’t ride half a mile without falling off and had never done any fundraising. But there I was 6 months later nearly completed. I smiled ear to ear the whole way along that mile of road knowing what I had achieved.”
” I am truly humbled by the amount of help and support I have had from friends and family and even more so by complete strangers I have met either over the internet or along my journey.”
So what’s next for Ollie? “Eerrrrm not sure, but I’m on the look out for a bike, I’ve had
enough of balancing for a while!”