‘... it’s something a bit different’ - 84-year-old vintage bike enthusiast organises his own charity cycling event
PUBLISHED: 15:27 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:59 03 September 2020
An 84-year-old vintage bike enthusiast is organising a charity cycle ride like no other.
Colin Bedford, from March, plans to cycle the distance between March and Hinchingbrooke Hospital over five days using different historic bikes.
And he also plans to wear costumes every day that will match each bike’s era, which range from a Victorian ‘boneshaker’ to a Second World War parachutist’s bicycle used by Royal Marines.
Mr Bedford, a founding member of the March Veteran and Vintage Cycle Club, said: “Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising inspired me to do this, and it’s something a bit different as well.”
“I did think about riding from March to Hinchingbrooke but it’s a bit risky because some of the bikes have no brakes.
“So instead, I’ll be riding the same distance through the streets of March and the town centre.
“Hopefully more people will then see me dressed up and will be more tempted to donate.”
Mr Bedford is fundraising for the hospital and Diabetes UK.
He has torn the retina in his right eye and visits the hospital for monthly injections. He has also been a Type 1 diabetic for around 30 years.
“This is my way of giving something back for the care and support I’ve received over the years,” he added.
Mr Bedford will be completing five miles of the cycle ride every day between September 21 and 25.
The selection of bicycles include:-
• An 1865 ‘boneshaker’ which has solid wooden wheels with an iron rim.
• A 1914 GPO inspector’s bicycle from the First World War.
• A 1933 Raleigh trade bike which belonged to a laundry firm based in Station Road, March.
• A 1937 GPO used in March during the Second World War.
• A 1939 Runwell bicycle used by the Sheringham home guard. Mr Bedford also plans to wear traditional uniform and carry a rifle when he rides this model.
• A 1943 Second World War parachutists bicycle which folds up and would have been strapped to a Royal Marine being parachuted onto the front line.
Mr Bedford said: “I’m saving the boneshaker to ride just for a little while on the last day.
“Hopefully, I’ll still be in a good state to take that on after four days of cycling.”
In 2014, Mr Bedford rode a penny-farthing alongside professional cyclists when the Tour de France started in Cambridge.
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