The Tour de Aky was set up in 2019 by Pierre Olesqui after the death of his best friend Mick “Aky” Atkinson who sadly took his own life in October 2018.
Aky was a Dog Handler with North Yorkshire Police, and therefore a colleague of our founders Dan and Shelly.
He was a larger than life character who would be the centre of every party, and leave a smile on everyones face. He was the last person you would have thought had demons he was trying to deal with - before his death we knew he was unhappy but not to this extent, which is why we encourage others to talk.
It's OK not to be OK, just talk!
The Tour de Aky is a cycling event centred around celebrating Aky's memory. The distance is 106.6 miles in honour of his collar number 1066, and the route goes to/past locations that had meaning to Aky such as sports grounds, homes and work places. This year it goes from Leeds to Scarborough on the east coast, the reverse of last years' event.
The Tour de Aky is about promoting mental health awareness, encouraging others to talk, being there for each other, and together remembering a great man.
Last years ride brought so many together and encourgaged so many to talk, the support for the event has been amazing.
We're delighted to be able to work with Pierre and the event to keep Aky's memory alive through both clothing for the annual cycle as well as clothing featuring Aky's paw print logo and collar number which are available all year round.
This years' event is on 17th July 2020 and will feature over 80 riders from the #TDAfamily - you can check out further information about the ride here, and sponsor the riders or donate through the GoFundMe page.
The event and profits generated by the event through clothing sales will raise money for three amazing charities - the Mind mental health charity, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and the charity connected to Aky's favourite rugby club, the Leeds Rhinos Foundation.