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  1. #1
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    UK - Anthony Parsons, 63, Argyll, Scotland, 29 Sept 2017

    Police in Forth Valley are appealing for the public’s help as part of ongoing enquiries to trace a man reported missing.
    Anthony Parson was last seen leaving his home address in the Ross Court area at around 9.30am on Friday 29 September.
    The 63-year-old has been reported missing after failing to return home and he has not been seen since.
    Anthony travelled to Fort William by train arriving at around 4.10pm on Friday. It is believed he then set off to cycle back to Tillicoultry along the A82.
    Concern is growing for his welfare and anyone who knows Anthony’s current whereabouts is asked to contact us immediately.

    http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-...anthony-parson



    Man disappears during 104-mile cycle from Fort William to Tillicoultry


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...ntral-41537102

    Police and Mountain rescue are currently searching the area between Bridge of Orchy and Tyndrum.

    The last known sighting of him was at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel in Argyll at 23:30 that night.
    Last edited by Taskforce88; 10-10-2017 at 06:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    This is an area that I climb and photograph a lot in, and there isn't many different routes to take on a bike between Bridge of Orchy and Tyndrum, even off-road.

    He may have went off-road onto that part of the West Highland Way, or cut off along Glen Orchy. It also possible he ditched his bike for some reason and got into difficulty up a Glen or out in the wilds.

    I was also very late at this time of year (4.30pm) to start a long cycle journey. He must have planned to stay the night somewhere.

    Looking at the times and distance traveled, I suspect they may be looking in the wrong area.

    However:

    "The last known sighting of him was at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel in Argyll at 23:30 that night."

    Not the best road to be on that late. Unless he was stopping there for the night, there is a bunkhouse next door too. The train station is just up the road as well.

    It took him from 4.30-6 to get from Fort William to Glencoe Village, but another 5 or so hours to reach Bridge of Orchy.
    Last edited by Taskforce88; 10-10-2017 at 06:50 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taskforce88 View Post
    This is an area that I climb and photograph a lot in, and there isn't many different routes to take on a bike between Bridge of Orchy and Tyndrum, even off-road.

    He may have went off-road onto that part of the West Highland Way, or cut off along Glen Orchy. It also possible he ditched his bike for some reason and got into difficulty up a Glen or out in the wilds.

    I was also very late at this time of year (4.30pm) to start a long cycle journey. He must have planned to stay the night somewhere.

    Looking at the times and distance traveled, I suspect they may be looking in the wrong area.

    However:

    "The last known sighting of him was at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel in Argyll at 23:30 that night."

    Not the best road to be on that late. Unless he was stopping there for the night, there is a bunkhouse next door too. The train station is just up the road as well.

    It took him from 4.30-6 to get from Fort William to Glencoe Village, but another 5 or so hours to reach Bridge of Orchy.


    I find it very difficult to understand why he would set out so late in the day, especially as it seems the roads are dark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverjug View Post
    I find it very difficult to understand why he would set out so late in the day, especially as it seems the roads are dark.
    Yep its very strange.

    You wouldn't cycle on a well-lit road at night time never mind a pitch black one.

    The times are odd as well. He seems to have made good progress from Fort William to Glencoe Village, after that he seems to take hours to cover the next stage (5 hours).

    His last sighting is the Bridge of Orchy hotel (23.30). I find it odd he never made a call home or thought it best to spend the night there or nearby.

    The police seem to be focusing on a certain vehicle seen on the Tyndrum petrol station CCTV around 02.00.

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    Dozens of volunteers have been combing the countryside to locate a 63-year-old man who vanished during a 100-mile cycle ride.

    Police, coastguards and mountain rescue volunteers have been out searching parts of the route in a bid to track down the missing man, who is understood to be retired and ex-navy.

    Officers released images of Mr Parsons passing Glencoe village on his bike just after 6pm on Friday in a bid to jolt the memory of anyone who may have been travelling in the area.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/lo...-went-11314431

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    UPDATE - 19th October
    Further search activity as part of efforts to trace Tony Parsons
    Police in Forth Valley will tomorrow (Friday 20th October) be conducting further patrols on the A82, between the Bridge of Orchy and Tyndrum areas, as part of the ongoing search for a missing man.

    "We're particularly eager to hear from the driver of a people carrier-style vehicle that was travelling south on the A82 at the Green Welly Stop near Tyndrum around 2am on Saturday 30th September as to whether or not they may have seen Tony."


    http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-...nthony-parsons

    Very possible he was struck by a vehicle south of Bridge of Orchy. It is a very dark road.

    I will be passing by this way tomorrow, I will see what level of search is ongoing.

    Last edited by Taskforce88; 10-19-2017 at 12:03 PM.

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    And to add - I don't know how experienced Tony Parson's was as a cyclist, but again from the picture of him cycling I'm inclined to say he didn't have much experience of single, long haul rides such as the century that he was attempting.
    I'm a cyclist (road racing and touring) myself, and if you're not prepared to ride such a long distance, it can really be challenging.

    That could explain why his progress seemed to slow down. You have to set out riding on a 100mi ride slowly so that you pace yourself. However, looking at the timings, it seems he did. Fort William to Glencoe Village is approximately 16mi. It took Tony around an hour and a half (16:30 - 18:00) to ride that distance, which gives an average speed of around 10 - 11MPH. That is totally achievable. However as the light was starting to dwindle, and his energy was dwindling, he could easily have slowed down a lot.

    I also checked elevation maps. From Fort William to Glencoe Village, he cycled upwards around 500ft over 16mi. That's hardly anything. However, from Glencoe Village to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, is 1,300ft over 24mi. That could definitely tire out someone who is not particularly fit, and has already ridden a few miles.

    Sorry for the rambly post, I'm just thinking out loud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seryth View Post
    And to add - I don't know how experienced Tony Parson's was as a cyclist, but again from the picture of him cycling I'm inclined to say he didn't have much experience of single, long haul rides such as the century that he was attempting.
    I'm a cyclist (road racing and touring) myself, and if you're not prepared to ride such a long distance, it can really be challenging.

    That could explain why his progress seemed to slow down. You have to set out riding on a 100mi ride slowly so that you pace yourself. However, looking at the timings, it seems he did. Fort William to Glencoe Village is approximately 16mi. It took Tony around an hour and a half (16:30 - 18:00) to ride that distance, which gives an average speed of around 10 - 11MPH. That is totally achievable. However as the light was starting to dwindle, and his energy was dwindling, he could easily have slowed down a lot.

    I also checked elevation maps. From Fort William to Glencoe Village, he cycled upwards around 500ft over 16mi. That's hardly anything. However, from Glencoe Village to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, is 1,300ft over 24mi. That could definitely tire out someone who is not particularly fit, and has already ridden a few miles.

    Sorry for the rambly post, I'm just thinking out loud.
    Yep, your absolutely correct, it is a very steep climb through Glencoe and up over the Rannoch moor. It isn't a route for an inexperienced cyclist, especially at that time of day. I doubt an experienced one would do it in the dark.

    I don't know why, but he comes across as someone who had just got into cycling and dived in at the deep end. Not appreciating train times etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taskforce88 View Post
    I don't know why, but he comes across as someone who had just got into cycling and dived in at the deep end. Not appreciating train times etc.
    I get absolutely the same impression. From the picture of him on his bike, I don't believe he's riding a road bike, but a standard mountain bike. The tires are much too thick to be a road/touring tire. The shape of the frame and his position is also too upright. The bike is also incorrectly adjusted to him - in the picture, his right pedal is almost at it's lowest point, and his right leg is still slightly bent. There should be almost no bend in his leg when it's at it's lowest point. This implies the saddle is too low for him. All of this would mean he's definitely not prepared to ride a century.

    Also he doesn't seem to have any of the correct cycling gear - riding a century straight off the bat without any sort of panniers or food supply is nigh on impossible, especially for the 'average Joe' without a support car or something similar! He seems vastly under equipped with just a small backpack. I would have more than that even for a 50mi ride.

    I wonder what the weather was like in the area on the night he disappeared? If he had incorrect equipment and was tired and cold, I wonder if hypothermia is a possibility? Perhaps he left the road to try and find shelter somewhere.
    Last edited by Seryth; 10-19-2017 at 06:57 PM. Reason: Spelling

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seryth View Post
    I get absolutely the same impression. From the picture of him on his bike, I don't believe he's riding a road bike, but a standard mountain bike. The tires are much too think to be a road/touring tire. The shape of the frame and his position is also too upright. The bike is also incorrectly adjusted to him - in the picture, his right pedal is almost at it's lowest point, and his right leg is still slightly bent. There should be almost no bend in his leg when it's at it's lowest point. This implies the saddle is too long for him. All of this would mean he's definitely not prepared to ride a century.

    Also he doesn't seem to have any of the correct cycling gear - riding a century straight off the bat without any sort of panniers or food supply is nigh on impossible, especially for the 'average Joe' without a support car or something similar! He seems vastly under equipped with just a small backpack. I would have more than that even for a 50mi ride.

    I wonder what the weather was like in the area on the night he disappeared? If he had incorrect equipment and was tired and cold, I wonder if hypothermia is a possibility? Perhaps he left the road to try and find shelter somewhere.
    Great insight.

    My thinking was that he was on a mountain bike and he may have went off-road onto the West Highland Way or down one the Glens. Or possibly struck by a vehicle on the dark roads, or got into difficulty, fell into a loch or river.

    It seems he never past Tyndrum, at least not on his bike
    Last edited by Taskforce88; 10-19-2017 at 06:52 PM.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seryth View Post
    Also he doesn't seem to have any of the correct cycling gear - riding a century straight off the bat without any sort of panniers or food supply is nigh on impossible, especially for the 'average Joe' without a support car or something similar! He seems vastly under equipped with just a small backpack. I would have more than that even for a 50mi ride.
    It makes me wonder if he actually intended to complete the ride. The thought crossed my mind that he might have been suicidal and wanted somewhere remote and beautiful to do the deed.

    I've not seen anything in the reports to suggest that he was or might have been suicidal, but whatever happened he has clearly gone off his planned route in a big way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taskforce88 View Post

    Very possible he was struck by a vehicle south of Bridge of Orchy. It is a very dark road.
    It's also possible that he just keeled over and died, though I would have expected his body and bike to be found by the side of the road or close to it if that were the case.

    I've done some cycletouring myself in the distant past, though not in anything like such rugged and exposed countryside. 100 miles in a single ride is superfit stuff, especially in that terrain. I don't recall ever riding much more than 50 miles in a day and that was in southern or eastern England.

    I used to reckon I could get 250 miles to the gallon on Abbot Ale though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MelmothTheLost View Post
    It's also possible that he just keeled over and died, though I would have expected his body and bike to be found by the side of the road or close to it if that were the case.

    I've done some cycletouring myself in the distant past, though not in anything like such rugged and exposed countryside. 100 miles in a single ride is superfit stuff, especially in that terrain. I don't recall ever riding much more than 50 miles in a day and that was in southern or eastern England.

    I used to reckon I could get 250 miles to the gallon on Abbot Ale though.
    Taking ill is one possibility especially if he was unfit and unused to a long strenuous cycle, but as you say he would be found on or just off the road, same if he had been struck by a vehicle, unless he went down one of the steep slopes further south towards Tyndrum.

    Hopefully the search today will find him.

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    The 2am people carrier that the police are interested in would probably not have seen him if they came via the Oban road. Even if they came via Bridge of Orchy it is again unlikely they would have passed him with regards to the time and distance.

    He has been missing for three weeks. It would be horrendous if he is found just yards from the main road.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the updates. Hopefully he's found safe and sound, but the longer this goes on the less likely it seems. I see from one of the articles a chopper was out looking for him - and I wonder, did it have thermal vision?
    Because if he was still in the area and alive, thermal imagine probably would have revealed that. From the picture it didn't look at all like he was prepared for a night out in the open, with only the small back pack.

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