Son does heartfelt cycle ride for Dad

David Parker with son Richard who rode from London to Brighton for BHF.
David Parker with son Richard who rode from London to Brighton for BHF.

A Spalding bricklayer has gone the extra mile for his father by cycling 75 of them from London to Brighton for charity.

Richard Parker (42) of Edinburgh Drive put his pedals to the metal at the London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride last month in aid of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) after his dad David Parker (79) of Surfleet suffered four life-threatening heart attacks during the spring.

The Dragonflies raise funds for Cancer Research UK at William Stukeley Primary School.  Pictured are Sam Braid, Sam Belekon-Dennis, Trudy Wright, Rebecca Crunkhorn, Debbie Slator, Sam Rickerby and Thale Goodley.

The Dragonflies raise funds for Cancer Research UK at William Stukeley Primary School. Pictured are Sam Braid, Sam Belekon-Dennis, Trudy Wright, Rebecca Crunkhorn, Debbie Slator, Sam Rickerby and Thale Goodley.

Family and friends supported Richard’s efforts to ride on cycle paths, through forests and up a steep hill to finish and raise about £300 so far for BHF.

He said: “I always like to do a little bit for charity during the year and when Dad had his heart attacks, I thought of doing something for BHF.

“I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to enter the London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride as I thought it might be good to have a crack at it.

“To prepare, I rode for one and a half hours after work each weeknight and between four and five hours on a Sunday round Rutland Water.”

Cancer Research UK fundraiser cake stall at William Stukeley Primary School, Holbeach, with (back) Sam Belekon-Dennis, Trudy Wright, Debbie Slator, Sam Rickerby, Thale Goodley, (front) Sam Braid and Rebecca Crunkhorn.

Cancer Research UK fundraiser cake stall at William Stukeley Primary School, Holbeach, with (back) Sam Belekon-Dennis, Trudy Wright, Debbie Slator, Sam Rickerby, Thale Goodley, (front) Sam Braid and Rebecca Crunkhorn.

The event has been held for almost 40 years and is supported by celebrities including TV Masterchef host John Torode, Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt and ex-footballer turned actor Vinnie Jones.

Richard said: “It was quite hard work and the last climb was quite difficult.

“The ride started off alright but then it got quite tricky and about ten miles from the finish, there was a really nasty hill and 95 per cent of the riders just got off their bikes and walked up it.”

Before the race, Richard was given good luck wishes by his wife and daughter who were also on hand to meet him at the finish line in Brighton.

“I’m quite happy with what I’ve raised because a lot of people in my family have had heart problems, so it was worthwhile doing the bike ride for BHF.”

David’s wife Lorna Parker (70) said: “Richard is an absolute treasure and he’s very attentive to his dad.

“There’s not a day that goes by when he doesn’t ring or come round to make sure his dad is OK and we’re so proud of what Richard has done.”

You can donate to BHF by calling Richard on 01775 711051.