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Cupar legend Pete Cura remembered as blood cancer charity cyclists set off on epic journey to Italy

Cura family and friends with cyclists outside Pete's Gallery before Cupar departure
Cura family and friends with cyclists outside Pete's Gallery before Cupar departure

A group of cyclists have set off on a 1,500-mile charity cycle across Europe in memory of well-known Cupar picture framer and poet Pete Cura Jr who died unexpectedly last year.

Family, friends and well-wishers gathered outside Pete’s former gallery in Burnside, Cupar, as his brothers Mike, 57, and Dave, 53, and sister Louise’s husband Graham, 61, embarked upon their adventure, which will also raise money for Blood Cancer UK.

Their six–week journey will finish up at the Cura family village of Buzzo in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.

The cyclists prepare to depart from Burnside, Cupar.

Sister Louise and Pete’s youngest brother John are following them in support vehicles.

The rest of the family then plan to make the journey over to Italy in August to welcome them at the end of their adventure.

They will get together there to remember Pete’s life, with his Italian friends, in a place he loved.

Amongst those seeing the cyclists off on Saturday morning were parents Pete and Louise Cura.

Pete Cura Snr, 89, waves off the charity cyclists in memory of his son.

They were with Pete when he passed away peacefully on March 10, 2021, aged just 61, at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, after battling privately and bravely fighting Myleofiboris, a rare type of blood cancer.

Pete, 89, said he and Louise “missed him greatly” but were delighted to see so many well-wishers gather.

They are looking forward to their trip to Italy later in the summer.

Tributes to Pete from far and wide

When young Pete died in 2021, the passing of the former Bell Baxter High School pupil, Edinburgh College of Art graduate, 2004 Scottish Slam poetry champion and organiser of the spoken word tent at the Wickerman Festival in Dumfries and Galloway for over 10 years, led to an outpouring of warm tributes from far and wide.

Pete Cura Jnr, who died in March 2021, aged 61.

At a time when Covid-19 restrictions limited attendance at his funeral service, large crowds gathered to pay their respects outside his gallery in Burnside, Cupar, as his funeral cortege paused on its way to a private cremation and Celebration of Life in Dundee.

In September, a special exhibition of Pete’s work took place over three weekends at his former gallery with the opening day coinciding with C in the Park – a community celebration that took place in Cupar’s Haugh Park.

Amongst the events that took place was a tribute performance by Pete’s old band Milton Balgoni and the Balgoni Boyz, featuring “guests”.

Through those events, his friends raised £4,000 for the Haematology Unit at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, which cared for Peter for over nine years.

Pete Cura Jnr exhibition: A fitting tribute to Cupar picture framer, slam poet and ‘amazing son and brother’

The sale of t-shirts bearing a tribute to Pete’s stage persona Milton Balgoni also raised money for a planned poetry trail in his hometown of Cupar.

Idea for charity cycle

Pete’s brother-in-law Graham told The Courier previously that the idea for the cycle came from retired teacher Mike Cura within days of Pete’s passing.

While none of them are “really cyclists”, they’d recently bonded on a “training camp” in Yorkshire and were now geared up for the challenge ahead.

The route will take them 40 days including 32 days on the bikes with rest days and contingency days factored in.

Self portrait of Pete Cura Jnr.

They’ll go from Scotland down the east coast to Newcastle, get the ferry over to Amsterdam then take in Arnhem, follow the Rhine right down to Strasbourg, Basel, Lake Constance then head across the Alps – camping along the way.

The cyclists were joined on Saturday by Jamie Laing, son of young Pete’s sister Louise Laing, who is cycling the leg from Cupar to Düsseldorf then joining them again in Italy for the final week.

Dave Cura’s 18-year-old twin daughters Kirsty and Macy Cura are also part of the support team for the whole trip

The fundraisers, who’ve set a target of at last £5,000 for Blood Cancer UK, have set up a fundraising page and welcome donations: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tourdmilt

Pete Cura Jr: Tributes to Cupar picture framer, stand-up poet and ‘nicest guy on the planet’

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