Outdoor Traders Cycling Club decided to organise a ride to remember Richard Kell who tragically died on 23rd August 2016 from injuries he sustained in a crash during the Prudential Ride London 2016 event. The ride was held on Sunday 16th October with the intention that 50 riders would cycle 50 miles and try and raise £50 each for the charity IMPS (the Injury Minimisation Programme for Schools). The event was called the “OTCC 50 – 50 – 50 Ride for Richard.”
IMPS is one of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital Charitable Funds. It provides an injury prevention education programme for children, empowering young people to take personal responsibility for managing their own risk and equipping them with the skills to cope in an emergency. 90% of schools in Oxfordshire visit the hospital each year to learn injury prevention and emergency skills.
The 50-mile route started from the Outdoor Traders shop by the market square in Abingdon and wound around the lanes of Oxfordshire taking in some of the county’s most picturesque villages. These included Besselsleigh, Sutton, Standlake, Buckland, Charney Bassett and the Hanneys. A midway stop at Aston Potteries was built in to the route for refreshments of tea, coffee and cakes. Four groups, comprising about 10 riders each, took part, each with a nominated ride leader. They started from Abingdon at intervals of about 10 minutes, with the first group leaving at 8.30 am.
A reconnaissance bike ride of the route comprising the leaders took place the week before in sunny and warm conditions. We were hopeful that we would enjoy the same conditions on the day itself. Sadly, this was not to be. During the days before the ride, the weather forecast showed that there would be a chance of rain which became more intense as the day got closer. Indeed, the forecast on the evening before showed that there would be very heavy rain at precisely the time when every group was due to start. We considered a postponement, but decided to go ahead anyway.
Apart from one rider, the rain did not put anyone off. We knew that Richard would have ridden in these conditions. It was the least we could do to go out and face whatever weather was thrown at us to honour his memory. Richard was a very cheerful and popular member of OTCC and was universally liked by all. In the end, Richard smiled down upon us and the weather improved throughout the day. The sun came out and I think we were all dried out by the time we reached the end of the ride. We all enjoyed a well-earned drink at the Kings Head and Bell in Abingdon to celebrate the conclusion of a thoroughly challenging, enjoyable and rewarding day.
We did n’t quite manage to get 50 riders out since some had to withdraw due to illness during the days before. However, we did have 40 riding plus two club members who escorted us around in their cars in support and also took photographs. Donations for IMPS are still coming in and so far we have raised a magnificent £2,310 plus Gift Aid of approximately £465, making a grand total of about £2,775.