A charity cycle challenge for the region’s only adult hospice has raised over £100k.
The sun came out for the 1,200 riders taking part in the Tour de Bristol sponsored bike ride on April 15. Fundraisers set off from the Centre for Sport at UWE’s Frenchay campus riding distances of 40km, 65km and 100km through the Bristol and Gloucestershire countryside in aid of St Peter’s Hospice.
One competitor, Jim Reynolds aged 90, was in a category of his own. The former PE teacher rode the race with his daughter Louise Vandyke, completing the 40km circuit in three hours and 15 minutes.
Riding in memory of his wife who received treatment from St Peter’s Hospice, Jim Reynolds said: “I don’t think there are many 90 year olds doing it. Two years ago I was the only person in the 80 – 90 year group but a young one – an 80 year old I think – came in last year, so then there were two. This year I’ve moved up a group so I’m now in the 90 – 100 age group so I’m hoping that there’s no one else there!”
Husband and dad of three, Mike Freeman from Westbury-on-Trym, was cared for by the Hospice when he was diagnosed with terminal Bladder Cancer. His family and friends take part in the annual Tour de Bristol race in his memory as team, Bike for Mike. Johnny Freeman, Mike’s son said: “The Tribute fund was set up to fundraise for the amazing work that St Peter’s Hospice did in the final weeks of our Dad’s life and the support that we as a family were given. It was hugely valuable to us and made an incredible difference to his quality of life.
“We’ve raised over £42k for the charity so far. The event is a nice way to reconnect with people and I would encourage anyone to get involved.”
Another team was riding in memory of Marc Davies, from Westbury-on-Trym, who died five years ago, having received support from the hospice after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The Tour de Bristol is now in its ninth year and has raised over £1 million in total for the hospice. It’s a magnificent sum that will help to provide vital funds for patient care during the most difficult of times.
St Peter’s Hospice director of fundraising and communications, Sarah Allen-Gunn said: “This year’s event was one of the best yet. We’re incredibly grateful to each and every one of the 1,200 participants who signed up to take on the challenge in aid of the hospice.
“They all fundraised incredibly hard to help us reach the £100k target. In the current cost of living crisis, when people have less to give, we have been overwhelmed by people’s support and generosity.”
Register your interest for the 2024 Tour de Bristol: tourdebristol.co.uk