Local GP’s 125-mile cycle challenge to help make Northampton happier and healthier
Written by Martin Steers on August 5, 2020
Northampton Bikers, a group of local road cyclists, have carried out a variety of fund-raising challenges but none as mammoth as their 125-mile challenge. Dr David Smart, a Northampton GP, is a keen cyclist and has joined the group this year to complete the 125-mile cycle around Northamptonshire raising awareness of, and money for Action for Happiness in the county.
The challenge will start and finish at Delapre Abbey on Sunday 16th August. This will be the furthest the group has cycled in one day and will be a very tough challenge with 10 / 11 hours in the saddle.
Dr David Smart has been a GP at Leicester Terrace Healthcare Centre in Northampton for 30 years and part of this challenge is to celebrate that milestone.
“COVID-19 has been a very difficult time for us all and one of the things that has kept me sane has been cycling. It also enabled me to lose weight to keep me a little safer should I become infected. I am now the same weight I was when I joined Leicester Terrace 30 years ago.”
The government recently signalled they would like to transform cycling in Northamptonshire and have promised an action plan to implement this. The Northampton Bikers are looking forward to their challenge which will take them through the beautiful countryside and exceptional villages of the county. They are hoping that the challenge will encourage others to get on their bikes and make the most of the countryside that we’re lucky to be nestled in.
Not just concerned with championing physical health, Dr Smart sees the importance of mental wellbeing. He has been working with a group of local volunteers to create a movement in Northamptonshire based on the Action for Happiness ‘10 Keys to Happier Living’ framework. The movement encourages people to take the pledge: I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me.
The group has also developed a Happy Café Network in Northampton which will be launched shortly to provide a warm welcome to customers, wellbeing resources and courses to improve happiness. The funds raised by the cyclists will be used to support the volunteers in spreading the message of the Action for Happiness movement. Northamptonshire Action for Happiness activities can be followed via @A4HNorthants on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
If you would like to wave the cyclists off, they will be leaving historic Delapre Abbey at 07:00am on Sunday 16 th August. Dr Smart chose this start and end point because he has recently joined the board of trustees at Delapre Abbey supporting its focus on the well-being of the community.
If you would like to sponsor Northampton Bikers in their 125 mile challenge visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/northamptonbikers