A CYCLIST pedalled the length of Britain in memory of his mother, to raise more than £3,000 for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.

Chris Read exceeded his target of £2,500 while taking part in the 980-mile Deloitte Ride Across Britain, to bring his total fundraising for the charity to nearly £10,000.

A triumphant Chris Read at the end of his 980-mile charity cycle ride

He started cycling in aid of the hospice after it looked after his mother Gillian, who lived in Ashford, in her final days around Christmas 2012.

Chris said the cycle ride from Lands End at the foot of Cornwall to John O’Groats on the north Scottish coast was “pretty brutal”. The worst aspect was becoming saddle sore at the end of the fourth day, leaving four more days of painful cycling. Most of the other nearly 900 cyclists were also suffering.

“At the start each day, we all stood up as we started and then there was a collective groan as everyone sat down,” he added.

Chris said he also felt a lot of pain in his knees and the steep climbing on the first day in Cornwall was “horrific”.

“I’m never cycling there again – next time it will be by motorbike, car or coach.”

Despite the pain, Chris described the ride as an amazing adventure and an experience he would never forget.

“If you’re thinking of doing this challenge stop thinking about it and just sign up. It’s probably the most challenging thing you will do on a bike but the feeling at the end is just awesome.”

Chris is planning to take part in the Ride London cycle event next year. He has taken part for the past three years, raising £6,230 for the hospice.

Contributions can still be made to Chris’s sponsorship total at

For the full story get the 26 September edition of the News & Mail

THE care given to a terminally ill woman by the Woking & Sam Beare Hospices has inspired her son to raise money for the charity by cycling the length of the country.

Chris Read is taking part in the 980-mile Deloitte Ride Across Britain, hoping to raise £2,500 for the hospices.

INSPIRED – Chris Read with his son Charlie after completing Ride London this year to raise money for the hospices

Chris has previously raised £6,230 for the hospices by taking part in the Prudential Ride London for the past three years.

The charity looked after his mother Gillian, who lived in Ashford, in her final days around Christmas 2012.

“The care she received was amazing and just as important the care my father received in the months afterwards was life saving. The work they do is truly inspiring and I feel it’s very important for me to give something back,” he said.

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For the full story, get the 12 September edition of the News & Mail

WOKING cyclist Michael Smith has helped to raise £250,000 for research into heart disease by completing a 100-mile ride in the Prudential Ride London-Surrey event on Sunday.

PEDAL TO THE MEDAL – Michael Smith proudly shows off his award for completing the Prudential Ride London-Surrey course

Michael, 59, was one of 500 British Heart Foundation (BHF) Champions to take part, and personally raised £600.

The route took tens of thousands of cyclists from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, through the Surrey countryside and back to The Mall.

It took Michael six hours to complete the ride, and after crossing the finishing line, he said: “It was a truly phenomenal experience. The sense of comradeship among the cyclists was so uplifting, especially up the more difficult hills.

“I was pretty tired towards the end but the incredible views of London and the excitement coming from the crowds made for an exhilarating atmosphere, which carried me across the line.”

The money raised will go to the Miles Frost Fund, in association with the BHF.

For the full story and picture spread get the 8 August edition of the News & Mail

A DAY of cycle racing, with elite races and family activities, will be held at the Brooklands Museum next month.

Racers Jacob Hennessy, Tom Stewart and Alex Paton pose in front of Brooklands Museum’s iconic Concorde

The highlight will be the Grand Final of the OVO Energy Tour Series on a 1.4km circuit that will start and finish on the former runway of the aerodrome that now forms a community park. The event is expected to attract thousands of cycling fans and will be shown on TV.

The unticketed, free-to-attend event on Saturday 25 May is unique in the world of cycling, as the focus in both the men’s and women’s competition is on the teams, who battle for the overall title based on the performance of all five of their riders in each round.

The organisers of the event next month hope that it will be the first of many.

Hugh Roberts, chairman of event organisers SweetSpot Group said: “We are delighted to be working with Elmbridge Council and our other key stakeholders in order to create what we hope will become an annual fixture of cycling, as well as drawing attention to Brooklands, its history and the contribution it made to motor racing and cycling.”

For the full story get the 11 April edition of the News & Mail