Eric Smart, who is cycling from Aberdeen to Australia for The ME Association popped into the village of Weston, near Spalding, South Lincs, on Friday, May 16 – 561 miles into his epic 15,000-mile journey. He plans to reach Aberdeen in South Australia some time in 2010.
The 42-year-old Royal Mail worker called in to visit MEA publicity manager Tony Britton and his wife Kay with a progress report.
This included details of the foraging expedition by a neighbourhood fox, who visited Eric while he was camping in the north of England and ran off with the high-visibility yellow vest which Eric used while on the road: "He must be the only fox in the north wearing a day-glo vest at the moment. The gamekeepers will love that!", said Eric.
And there were tales of countless acts of generosity from ordinary people he's met while on the road – from the hotelier who put him up in an en-suite room free of charge instead of having him camping in the garden to the kind-hearted grans who squeeze bottled water and cake into his hands after he has chatted to then in local shops.
Eric's journey will take him through Europe and Asia at the rate of about 50 miles a day. He aims to have two rest days a week. "I'm only on a wee bike ride", he says.
So far he has raised well almost £3,500 for The ME Association.
We think what Eric is doing is heroic. If you agree and would like to support him, please give what you can at Eric's fundraising page.