Davy Zyw is accustomed to defying the odds.

After raising more than £150,000 for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation (MNDF) by cycling the North Coast 500 two years ago, the 34-year-old from Edinburgh is preparing for his biggest challenge yet.

This is despite the fact he has been living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) since 2018. While MND kills a third of people within a year, and more than half within two years of their diagnosis, Mr Zyw is preparing to cycle 260 miles over five of Scotland’s highest public roads.

The author and wine expert will begin the cycle, dubbed the “High Five”, on August 11. He will be accompanied by his twin brother Tommy Zyw, 34, their 29-yearold brother Sorley Richardson, and a further group of five friends.

With his fingers now unable to operate regular gears as a result of his condition, Mr Zyw is able to take on the challenge because of an adapted bike with electric gears.

He said: “I’ve had the disease for almost four years and I’m not dead yet, so every day is a good day. I want to make the most of every second I have.

“My health is deteriorating, but I’m still cycling. I don’t know how many more chances I’ll have to do something like this again. This challenge has never been done before and I think only now am I coming to terms with the gravity of it. It’s a real feat of endurance for any cyclist – but especially for someone who has MND.”

Mr Zyw admits his condition is slowly robbing him of the use of his limbs.

“My left hand, left arm, shoulders, and now my right arm are beginning to fail me,” he said. “The electric gears have been a game changer.”

He added: “I have three aims, to finish, raise more money for My Name’5 Doddie, and thirdly, to drive as much awareness as possible. The more awareness raised, the more people can rally for action which drives progress. Doddie, myself and the MND community need progress. We are nearing a medical breakthrough, but for us, we are running out of time.”

Mr Zyw believes one of the biggest challenges has been finding time to train while looking after his young son, Alek, and working. He continued: “Doing an hour of cycling on your lunch break doesn’t really cut it. You need to go out for eight, nine, 10 hours. But thankfully my wife is hugely supportive and understanding. I’ve got just more than a month left to train so I plan to get some big miles in.”

Following his diagnosis, Mr Zyw moved back to Edinburgh after 10 years in London. In 2021, he and his wife Yvie Zyw, 33, had their first son.

It was an easy choice to raise funds for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, a charity launched by rugby star Doddie Weir, pictured, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2017. “I’m very lucky to have had the chance to get to know Doddie over the last few years,” Mr Zyw said. “I am in awe of what he has achieved for the MND community.” Jill Douglas, MNDF chief executive, said:

“Davy, his friends and his family have been huge supporters of the foundation. It’s thanks to incredible people like him that we are able to fund vital research that helps us continue on the road to a world free of this devastating disease.”