TIM Rhys Roberts is used to putting classic motorbikes to the test.
The 69-year-old is a lifelong enthusiast who runs a business restoring vintage and veteran machines.
But Tim’s latest motorcycling venture fulfilled an altogether more personal ambition.
Tim, who lives in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, completed a marathon round-Britain trip in memory of his late wife.
He rode thousands of miles around the coastline on a vintage 1927 Royal Enfield machine and sidecar, raising money for charities supporting people suffering from cancer – the disease from which wife Wendy died last year, just a few months short of their silver wedding anniversary.
Before Wendy died, aged 68, Tim discussed with her the possibility of doing the gruelling ride.
The plan would be to donate cash raised to the three charities – Macmillan Nurses, the John Taylor Hospice in Birmingham and the oncology unit at Birmingham Treatment Centre – which had given her so much help during her illness.
Tim said: “Wendy just said ‘go for it, kid’ and I did.”
His remarkable odyssey began outside the treatment centre in Birmingham, the city where the couple both then lived.
His first stop was at the home of his daughter and her family in Llanarmon, after which he set off around the UK.
By the time Tim arrived back in Birmingham, 44 days after he started out, his trusty bike had clocked up more than 6,400 miles.
To save money along the way he took his camping gear with him and only stayed indoors with friends on a few occasions.
Despite being 83 years old, the Royal Enfield gave him surprisingly little trouble.
Hitches included a couple of snapped drive-chains and two broken exhaust valves, which he fixed himself after borrowing a friend’s lathe.
Tim said: “Apart from that she ran absolutely perfectly and I very much enjoyed doing the ride.
“I’ve been very busy since I got back, with TV appearances in the Midlands and Wales.
“I am still hoping for further donations to these very good causes via the website my son has set up for me.”
To support Tim’s fundraising effort go to www.wendyrrmemorialrun.org.
See full story in the Leader