Duo’s epic bike ride

WIND, rain, occasional sunshine and 920 miles.

No wonder Betty Heard, from Sudbury, thought her son Chris and grandson Lloyd were mad when they told her they planned to cycle from John O’Groats to Lands End, writes Neil Bracegirdle.

But now the ache-inducing challenge is over and the pair have raised more than £2,000 for the Addenbrooke’s Kidney Patients’ Association (AKPA) in tribute to Mrs Heard’s husband Godfrey, she can see that it was all worth it.

“I am very pleased and very proud of them,” said Mrs Heard, who lives in Catesby Meadow.

“When I first heard about it, I thought they were mad, but they did it all on their own and I think Godfrey would be quite amazed.”

Mr Heard, who lived in Sudbury his whole life and worked at the Guilford factory and Vanners Silk, died two-and-a-half-years ago of kidney failure after being on dialysis at West Suffolk Hospital for four years. He was 74.

Mrs Heard said her son and grandson put themselves through 13 days in the saddle in her husband’s memory and as a thankyou to AKPA and the work it does in providing weekend trips, days out and Christmas parties for patients.

Her son Chris, who went to school in Great Cornard but now lives in Great Horkesley, said that he and Lloyd, 21, used the cause as motivation as they cycled eight hours a day.

Their only support came from Chris’ younger son, Elliot, 19, who drove the route carrying supplies.

“It was extraordinarily hard going,” said the 45-year-old.

“But it was in appreciation of what AKPA has done for us and to help future sufferers through what is a pretty miserable illness.

“It puts a timeline on people’s lives and anything that helps patients have better facilities or a more relaxed time is a good thing.”

In total, the pair have raised around £2,200 so far.

To donate to the AKPA fund in recognition of Chris and Lloyd’s achievement, visit www.justgiving.com/chris-lloydheard.