100-mile charity cycle in grandpa’s memory raises £1,700
PUBLISHED: 16:14 06 October 2020
An Ely man who cycled 100 miles in his grandpa’s memory raised £1,700 for charity despite horrendous weather.
Brandon Ford originally set himself the target of raising £750 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society after his “sport-mad” grandpa David Ford died at the age of 87.
“I was very close with him; he was almost a dad to me,” said the former Ely Community College pupil, who is now an estate agent.
“When he was able to walk he was really sporty; he used to set up skiing trips for him and 50 other people, played cricket and football for Cambridge City,” said Brandon, who came up with the fundraising idea during lockdown when he got back into cycling.
“I had completely forgotten how to ride a bike, but enjoyed my first 100km cycle two months ago.
“I was able to carry on with my day after, so I thought I’d push myself for 100 miles next time and make it one to remember.”
Brandon had intended to tell his grandpa about his fundraising plans but says he “ran out of time. I told myself I wanted to do it before he got really bad, but after his death I just thought there’s no time like the present - ‘I’m going to crack on and do it’.”
The 20-year-old started off from London at 9am Sunday (october 4) and made it back to his grandma’s in Cambridge at 7pm that night.
“I enjoyed it but it was a very long day and there were times where I thought ‘I don’t know if I can do this’,” Brandon said, “but I just kept pedalling. I kept saying to myself that ‘the sooner I get done, the sooner I can stop’.
The route, Brandon says, took quite a lot of planning in terms of the logistics: “I cycled around locations that my grandpa held close to his heart, starting from Tottenham Hotspur stadium as he was a big Spurs supporter and always wanted to see the new ground, and I finished at his home in Cambridge.
Brandon, who has felt tired since but says his body doesn’t ache just yet, had someone by his side for “ half of the journey”.
He was joined by his girlfriend’s stepdad David Carter for the London stint - “he did 30 miles with me, smashed it and I’m really grateful” - and by work colleague Alex Lowrie who joined from Broxbourne to Whittlesford.
“That was good for support and so kind because, without that, it would have been a lot harder mentally.”
“I have been surprised and some of the generosity is too much to put into words.”
He added that he wanted to raise money for the MS Society because “I knew my grandparents had been donating to them for years and I asked my grandma which one they used.
“I’ve seen the logo around their house quite often so I thought that’s the best place and where grandpa would have wanted it to go,” Brandon said.
To donate, visit the GoFundMe page.
You may also want to watch:
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Cambs Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.