LOCHGELLY'S cycling gran found herself having to swap the Alps for the Lomonds to raise funds for The Cure Parkinson's Trust.

But after her experiences of Sunday June 28 she was sure that the Alpine weather would have been a lot kinder than the wind and rain of tackling more than 80 miles of pedaling and climbing 12,139 feet.

Janet Kerr was supposed to be part of a team of 44 travelling across the Alps, from Geneva to Nice, taking part in the gruelling ‘Alpine Raid,’ which entails cycling over 800km with 19,000m of climbing in just six days, but like so many planned events in 2020, the coronavirus situation saw it having to be postponed.

But that was not the fundraiser totally binned by any means.

Said Janet, who has never let suffering from Parkinson's see her turn down a challenge: "We were doing this to raise much needed funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust, but sadly our plans were scuppered, due to COVID-19 - it was postponed.

"To make up for this, it was then decided to do a smaller, more local version of the event, so ‘Raid Local’ was born. The event was supported by some heavyweight rugby stars, such as former England internationalists Mike Tyndall, Ian Balshaw and their colleagues, and our own Sir Chris Hoy, who would be doing it virtually, on a turbo trainer!

"The brief for ‘Raid Local’ was to cycle 85 miles with 12,139 feet of climbing, to replicate what would have been day one of the ‘Alpine Raid’, on local roads.

"I had initially thought that I would be doing this on my own, but I was joined by my good friends Kirsteen Ross and Stuart Robb - I was over the moon, having their company would make all the difference. Stuart also has Parkinson’s and incredibly had a hip replacement operation just six months previously"

From the Leslie side, they cycled across the Lomonds, over to Falkland then back again, this would be one lap, and they calculated that they needed to do 8.5 laps!

"So we set off at 6.30am and the weather was atrocious," said Janet.

"It was raining and windy. These conditions were amplified as we came over the top, it was scary at times.

"It was never ending and extremely gruelling. Every time we completed a lap, we had a short pit stop, a welcome break out of the weather.

"After setting off at 06.30am we managed to finish just before darkness at 10pm.

"Unfortunately due to a technical problem with my GPS device, I ended up cycling an extra 5 miles but hey-ho I got there!

"In the end, over 1,000 participants took part and approximately £250,000 was raised for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust which was really good".

So what’s next - well it does not look like there will be any rest for the wicked!

Said Janet: "Right now I am supporting Motor Neurone Disease and CHAS, as part of a team of nine ladies, from across central Scotland, 'virtually' cycling from Canada to Mexico, some 1,849 miles!

"Planning this out we thought it would take 4+ weeks, but we have ended up doing it within two weeks - so we have just decided to cycle back to Canada. We will all cycle on our local roads then add our collective miles together. We are hoping to all meet for the last few miles on Sunday August 2 to celebrate with some well deserved coffee and cake!"

Donations to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust can be made via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/janet-kerr1 or donations to MND & CHAS can be made via https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=MNDC2C1848milesoffun&pageUrl=1&isTeam=true