Kelvin @ MacSorleys. Image used with kind permission of carolannpeacock

Amateur cyclist and trainee gentleman Mr. Kelvin Pawsey set out from Folkestone’s Sunny Sands Inshore Recuse Boathouse on the 31st of July  to embark on a tweed-powered two-wheeled charity adventure.

Hoping to raise as much money as he can for the Harris Tweed Authority Educational Trust and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Kelvin is pedalling himself over 900 miles to the Isle of Lewis home of the famous Harris Tweed.

Having no support team with him, Mr. Pawsey carries everything on his trusty Holdsworth bicycle. Tent, bed, cooking pots, moustache wax and of course an expeditionary Tweed RNLI flag to hoist in every campsite and tweed bunting to add a sense of occasion.

Punctures and map reading aside, Kelvin is aiming to complete his journey in three weeks, stopping for cake and ale along the way. (And saluting Magpie’s) Following the Grand Union Canal he also hopes to pop into the Reynolds Tubing factory in Birmingham which supplied the world with its legendary ‘531’ bicycle frame tubing. He will also be stopping at a tearoom in Penrith to find the ‘finest wines available to humanity’.

Somewhat typically one of his chosen charities, The Harris Tweed Educational Trust, is shrouded in mystery, I’ve certainly never heard of it but according to Kelvin it has been established by the Harris Tweed Authority as a means of advancing the education of the public in the history, production and properties of Harris Tweed. He says that Harris Tweed Education Trust aims to ensure that young people from the Outer Hebrides and indeed further afield, are educated and informed about this most cherished and beautiful, but sometimes fragile parts of Scotland’s national heritage. The first project of this recently formed trust is to support a formal recognised vocational qualification in Harris Tweed. From August 2010, this course will be offered through the education curriculum to S3/S4 pupils in one school on the Isle of Harris. So you heard it from a tweed-wearing Englishman first.

Anyway, here he is in MacSorley’s Bar where he parked himself on a tweed covered bar stool and tried a dram of Abhainn Dearg to warm him up for the day. If you see him on his travels give him a wave. Better still donate some money to him via the link below. He’ll be finishing his journey at the Harris Tweed Authority HQ and then at the RNLI station at Stornoway.

http://www.justgiving.com/The-Very-Long-Tweed-Ride