Cycling challenge will fulfil promise to dying man

May 02 2019
Cycling challenge will fulfil promise to dying man

TWO friends are attempting a 100 mile charity cycle ride from Bristol to Bournemouth to fulfil a promise made to a close relative who was dying.

Tony Joiner, a former Frampton Cotterell resident, and Keith Whitehead from Winterbourne together form the Mac and Dave (MAD) bike riders. Their challenge came from a promise Tony made to his brother-in-law Hugh ‘Mac’ McLaughlan before he died of prostate cancer in 2017.

Mac had done the same charity cycle ride 35 years earlier, and Tony promised him that when he reached 80, he would repeat it, on the very same bicycle, to raise money for cancer charities.

After celebrating his 80th birthday, Tony planned to do the trip alone, but when his friends and family found out they insisted on going too. The group has a wide range of cycling abilities – some of the riders haven’t been on two wheels for decades.

Tony said: “This is the biggest challenge I have ever taken on and I am blessed with the support of my family and friends who are to join me in this venture. I would like to think that the four charities we are supporting will benefit from our effort and would like to think that many people will help us raise a goodly sum.”

Keith was one of the first to support Tony, deciding to attempt the challenge in memory of his brother Dave.

He said: “My brother Dave sadly passed away on November 19, 2017 from oesophageal cancer. I know he’d be proud to see us all complete this challenge and raise the amount we’re after to help these 4 brilliant charities.”

To get some advice, Keith arranged a talk from Astrid Domingo Molyneux at Coalpit Heath Village Hall. Astrid comes from Almondsbury and is a mum of two who, when she turned 50, cycled around the world alone for two years.

Keith said: “She is a fantastic inspiration to us, and we hope to learn all we can from her in preparation for our comparatively smaller but no less meaningful bike ride.”

The charities being supported are MacMillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK, St. Peter’s Hospice, and Above and Beyond. The group had raised just over £1,200 of their £5,000 target when the Voice went to press.

The ride takes place on Saturday May 11, ending at Bournemouth Pier the same day.

You can donate here.