Sat, 20 Jul 2019
NEWBURY man Darren Portsmouth was one of 16,000 cyclists who completed the London to Brighton Bike Ride last month to raise money for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
The 48-year-old was riding in memory of his brother Craig, who died of a heart attack seven years ago.
His brother died the day after his 37th birthday when he was cutting down trees with Mr Portsmouth.
The event is Europe’s oldest charity bike ride and cyclists raised a total of £2m this year, which will be used to fund lifesaving research into heart and circulatory diseases.
Mr Portsmouth, who was riding with his sister-in-law Beccy Hayden, managed to raise £500 for the charity.
Having completed the ride in four hours and 50 minutes, he said: “Taking part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride for the British Heart Foundation was a really fantastic experience.
“The atmosphere at the finish line was absolutely brilliant and I enjoyed every moment of the ride – even the hills.
“It was truly wonderful to have so many supporters there and the camaraderie between the riders was pretty inspiring.
“It feels even better knowing that the money I’ve raised will help the BHF fund vital research into preventing, diagnosing and treating heart and circulatory diseases and I’m just proud to join the charity in their mission to beat heartbreak forever.”
The bike ride started at Clapham Common in the early hours of the morning.
The 54-mile route took the cyclists south from London through the Surrey and Sussex countryside passing through towns such as East Grinstead and Haywards Heath.
The end of the route involved cyccling up Burgess Hill before going into Brighton and ending at its famous pier.
BHF’s head of events Roshan Teeluck said: “It’s great to see Darren’s determination in completing this year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride.
“The success of this event is testament to the fact that cycling is such an inclusive sport that everyone can enjoy and we’re grateful to all our BHF champions for getting on their bikes and fundraising for our life-saving research.”