85-year-old Evington man takes on walking challenge

By Grace Cushnie.

David Bulbeck (85), a resident at Pilgrim Gardens care home, Evington, has taken on a 1000-mile challenge.

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Mr David Bulbeck, pictured with his progress tracker for the 1000-mile challenge

After picking up the magazine ‘Country Walking,’ Mr. Bulbeck discovered the challenge and has been sticking to it since the start of January. He plans to walk the average of 2.74 miles a day around Leicester in order to complete the challenge.

He said “I have a grandson who I want to encourage to try and get out walking, so I picked the magazine up to send to him. But I saw this 1000-mile challenge and on the back of it they have a progress tracker, which I have been using.

“I use my smart phone to track my steps, which I write down in a diary, and now I just put them onto my progress tracker.

“At the age of 85 my walking abilities are limited but working it down to an average 2.74 miles a day over 52 weeks seems to be obtainable. I suppose I’m just setting myself up for an achievable challenge.”

He added that his walks vary “from day to day. So far my maximum walk in one day is over 8 miles.”

Both his age and the pandemic act as challenges between Mr. Bulbeck and his goal. “Lockdown means that I cannot travel so far away, to go to new places to walk, meaning I have to keep to local areas. When you get to 85 you can’t always do what you want to do, your body won’t let you, but lockdown has added to the restrictions too.

Despite this, he stated “I am enjoying it so far, it’s a challenge particularly in lockdown. It gets you out – it’s not weather dependent. I can go out in all weathers; I go out in the cold and wet.”

Mandy Smith, Scheme Manager at Pilgrim Gardens, said that “David found the challenge in a walking magazine. There is a walking term, ‘Bimble.’ It’s a steady stroll at your own place. David considers himself a ‘Bimbler!’
“The challenge was aiming to reach all ages and abilities, which I believe it has; because of this article, David felt that he had permission to take on the challenge.

“He has been meeting lots of people online also doing the challenge and has found himself having conversations with places that he has never visited. He loves looking at all the pictures that they post of their walking challenge”

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