Retired Vet Begins Epic Cycling Journey

Grahamn Duncanson, BVSc, MSc, is bicycling to raise money for the Animal Welfare Foundation, a British Veterinary Association charity.

Left to right: Dr. Graham Duncanson and veterinary friend Emma Milne; Dr. Graham Duncanson in Holland, where he was slowed by heavy rain.

Saying routine retirement isn’t for him, British veterinarian Graham Duncanson has embarked on a two-year, 5,000-mile bicycling adventure that is expected to take him from England to South Africa.

Dr. Duncanson, BVSc, MSc, intends to do more than just reach the Southern Hemisphere on two tires. Celebrating his 50th year as a veterinarian, he is raising money for a British Veterinary Association charity, the Animal Welfare Foundation, and blithely blogging along the way as he makes new friends and delivers equine welfare and dentistry talks.50th year as a veterinarian, he is raising money for a British Veterinary Association charity, the Animal Welfare Foundation, and blithely blogging along the way as he makes new friends and delivers equine welfare and dentistry talks.

One of the first stops for the 72-year-old equine dental specialist was the Utrecht University veterinary school in the Netherlands. By August 1 he plans to be in Milan, Italy, where he will head south with another veterinarian, Jess Bartman—one of many bicycling veterinarians expected to join Duncanson for short stretches.

He reported covering 30 to 60 miles a day since starting in early June from his home in Crostwick, 120 miles northeast of London. In Holland, where bicyclists get top priority, he said, navigation was made difficult by heavy rain that turned “maps into pulp.”

His bicycle’s Kevlar tires were holding out. “Luckily, no punctures yet,” he said.

Duncanson is staying overnight with veterinarians and other supporters.

He cautioned that foul weather and geopolitical events could change his route. After reaching Milan he plans to cycle down the eastern side of Italy to Brindisi, sail to Patra on mainland Greece, then fly to Ethiopia and continue along Africa’s eastern coast to Cape Town, South Africa.

He has some familiarity with Africa.

“I’m no stranger to life on the road,” he said. “My first job on qualifying was as a field vet in Kenya, which I did for eight years. This will be a real adventure … as I am definitely not an accomplished cyclist.”

Follow Graham Dr. Graham Duncanson blogs about his bicycling adventure at his website. Fundraising conducted on his JustGiving web page totaled nearly $2,800 in late June. His goal is 10,000 pounds, or more than $13,000.


Originally published in the August 2016 issue of Veterinary Practice News. Did you enjoy this article? Then subscribe today! 

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