Watch: Great-grandpa, 83, wows Scottish family by cycling 'to London and back'

Jim Hay cycles about 40 miles a day.

A Scottish pensioner has set himself a challenge to virtually cycle about 320 miles on his indoor bike machine.

Great-grandfather Jim Hay, from Fife, has been “shielding” in his home since the coronavirus lockdown.

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The 83-year-old, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has taken on a mission to virtually cycle to London and back from his home in Dorset, where he now lives, to raise money for NHS for Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation.

“I do about three hours a day, covering around 40 miles each time,” Jim said.

“I get up at 7am and do an hour before breakfast, and I always make sure to have little breaks in between to pop the kettle on and have a cup of tea.”

Jim, who has eight great-grand children, has already covered about 200 miles so far.

“I have reached London and I am now on my way back with a day or two to go,” he added.

83-year-old Jim Hay, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has taken on a mission to virtually cycle to London and back from his home in Dorset, where he now lives, to raise money for NHS for Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation.

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The ambitious cyclist, who listens to audio books as he bikes, said he feels proud to be raising money for the NHS during his challenge.

“My wife Jessie passed away from cancer about six years ago and the healthcare service has done so much for my family.

“So it means a lot to be helping them out, to give something back.

“My doctor said I need to be inside for three months because of my health and my daughter bought me one of these bikes and it’s been marvellous doing this every day.”

Jim’s son John, from Fife, said he is “immensely proud” of his father for taking on the challenge.

“It’s just great to see him keeping fit, it’s given him his spark back because it’s not easy for someone to be kept inside for so long,” the Cross Country train driver said.

“He sees lots of people normally so it’s good he has this to focus on while he’s having to stay indoors for months.”

John marks the distance covered on Google Maps to show his dad how far he’s gone each day.

“The other day he had a little cycle around the new Excel hospital centre in London and we’re seeing him on his way home now.

“He’s on day seven and we reckon he’ll be finished by day eight.”

Jim’s children regularly check on their father to make sure he’s doing well each day.

“My sister, Liz Stuart, is a health practitioner and she keeps a good eye on him,” John said.

“We talk to him about two or three times a day and he just does what he’s comfortable with.

“I just think it’s amazing he’s exercising like this. We are immensely proud of him.

“I have to admit I didn’t expect my dad to be doing something like this at his age.”

John has set up a justgiving page for his dad. You can donate money to Jim’s cause by visiting here.

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