Staff at Stoke-on-Trent Mercedes-Benz Dealer Roanza Truck & Van are backing a local cyclist’s bid to raise funds to support victims of the disease that claimed his father’s life.
Nigel Barnes plans to ride 1,300 miles in just 11 days, on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society. He will be supported throughout by partner Sarah, driving a Mercedes-Benz Vito loaned by Roanza’s branch in Chemical Lane, Longport.
The 50-year-old from Tunstall decided to take on the gruelling ride he has dubbed the ‘Alz 1300’ after watching his father Clive spend 12 months in a specialist dementia care home before finally succumbing to Alzheimer’s.
“A lot of people don’t realise that it’s a terminal illness,” said Nigel, who runs his own motorcycle detailing business. “The last two years of my dad’s life were very tough and as a tribute to him I wanted to raise money to fund research that will help to ease the suffering of others.”
Nigel, whose longest previous ride was a nine-day, 1,000-mile marathon, sets off on his latest, epic challenge next month (9 June). The route will take him from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, and include a coast-to-coast section from Whitehaven to Sunderland.
Before this, though, he and Sarah will also stop off in Nantwich, Cheshire, to participate in an organised ‘Alzheimers100’ fund-raiser. They will be joined on this 100-mile event by various of their sponsors, including Roanza’s Retail Van Sales Manager – Stoke, Roger Knight.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Roger and his colleagues at Roanza for their backing,” said Nigel. “It’s fantastic to have the use of such a smart support vehicle which, as well as offering the all-important reliability we need, also promises to be very comfortable and exceptionally fuel-efficient.”
Roger Knight said: “Nigel is riding for a very good cause and highlighting the fight against a disease which is becoming increasingly prevalent. We were therefore delighted to loan him one of our Vito demonstrators – stylish and practical in equal measure, this model is perfectly suited to those with an active lifestyle including, of course, cyclists who need to carry their bikes and other gear.”
Added Roger: “Nigel is a very fit and determined individual, and despite the daunting nature of the ride that lies ahead I’ve every confidence that he’ll complete the challenge. Certainly, everyone at Roanza will be wishing him well.”
The latest Mercedes-Benz Vito sets a new benchmark for performance, efficiency, safety and all-round quality in the mid-sized van segment. It is available in three lengths and at three gross weights and also as a crew van – with a second row of seats – or a Tourer, which can carry a driver and up to eight passengers.
Formed in 2014 following the merger of two previous Mercedes-Benz Dealers (Enza Motors and Road Range Commercials), Roanza Truck & Van is the newest member of the manufacturer’s franchised UK network. In addition to its Stoke-on-Trent branch, the company operates from seven other locations across the North-West and North Wales.