A ride from Durness to Dungeness, via as many Nesses as I could find along the way, in aid of the  Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Over two weeks in June and July 2023, I rode from Durness in NW Scotland to Dungeness in SE England in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The ride was 1490 kilometres (925 miles) and involved over 11964m (39,250 feet) of ascent. 

I’m Pete Hawkins, a 62-year-old grandfather to five.  I took up cycling six years ago after my knee told me I couldn’t run again. In 2022, I cycled from Cork in Ireland back home to the Peak District in memory of a friend and raised over £4500 for a local charity.  That experience didn’t put me off, and so The Great Ness Ride was born.

As well as trying to raise as much money for the MNDA as possible I’ll spent the 13 days finding as many Nesses as possible, including Inverness, Loch Ness, Bo’Ness, Crossness… and a field in York, called The Nesses! 

Read the day by day account plus more information about the ride here

Why Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Everyone has heard of, and admired, the campaigning work of Rob Burrow and the now sadly late, Doddie Weir but up and down the UK there are up to 5,000 adults living with MND.

There is a 1 in 300 risk of getting MND across a lifetime, and it can affect adults of any age, although it is more likely to affect people over 50.  MND is a cruel and unforgiving illness. Everyone needs your support to raise the profile of MND and help to fund life-saving research into the disease.  

With your help, we can make a difference

Meet Tony

Tony Hams, much loved and missed husband and father.  ‘Daddy’ to 4 Irish Setters in his lifetime with whom he walked hundreds, perhaps thousands, of miles.  Participated in various sports all his life.  Always fit and healthy.

Became unwell during lockdown.  Unusually fatigued and suffering with what we thought was an Achilles injury.  Unable to see a GP face to face he struggled on until finally getting an appointment in July 2121.  Immediately referred to a neurologist but never made the appointment.  Suffered a respiratory collapse in September 2021 and spent the next 5 and a half months in various hospitals on a ventilator.  Passed away in our local hospice on 28th February 2022.  

MND is a devastating disease, both for the sufferer and their loved ones.  Please help in the quest to find a cure.

Meet David

David Ellis, a loving father, grandfather and brother, full of life and so fit and healthy. A keen walker, golfer and tennis player.

He was diagnosed with MND in March 2020 at the start of the Covid lockdown, a total shock made harder by not being able to spend time, and make memories, with his loved ones due to lockdown.

He was amazingly strong, determined and positive but sadly lost the battle in August 2021.


The current total (August 2023) sits at just over £6900, a testimony to the generosity of people the length of the country (and beyond).  The Just Giving page is still live and donations can still be made.