A 53-year-old woman has completed a London to Paris cycle ride in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), despite not having ridden a bicycle for more than 34 years previously.
Joyce Ng, from Aberdeen, took on the feat of endurance after the charity helped her daughter’s fiancé who was involved in a Lake District scrambling accident but sadly died from his injuries.
The primary school teacher’s journey did not come without a handful of unanticipated difficulties however, and on the first day of the ride Mrs Ng was knocked off her bike. A car tried to overtake, while an oncoming lorry was travelling in the opposite direction, and she was left bruised and shaken by the incident but continued the race the following day.
During the route she also suffered mystery spells of sickness that resulted in lost time, but she continued the testing cycle despite being told to stop participating in the 500km race.
Mrs Ng said: “It was in memory of Chris Bygate and I know he would have done exactly the same so I was committed to finishing. He was an absolutely fantastic guy.
“There aren’t enough words to describe how grateful we are for what the Great North Air Ambulance did for him. The crew put their lives at risk every day and I think people sometimes forget that. I wanted to give a little back to the charity and raise awareness of their remarkable work.”
Chris’s family and friends have all taken on challenges in memory of Chris, and they have raised more than £25,000 in their collective group “Team Bygate”.
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “Joyce and her team’s joint efforts have been incredible. Their fundraising will help raise vital funds and support future missions.”