A cycle ride will be taking place this weekend in memory of an aspiring cyclist who was killed after a collision with a van.
Lewis Balyckyi, 18, of Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, had been selected to train with a European race cycling team in France and was out on a training ride in January last year when he was hit by an overtaking van.
His family have organised a cycle ride to honour Lewis’ dreams and inspire other promising cyclists, with money raised going towards several charities including the North West Air Ambulance.
From an early age, Lewis showed the potential and the passion to become a national and international athlete. He rode for various teams and was under 16 National Circuit Champion.
Lewis was also chosen to ride for Great Britain on the British Cycling Talent Team where he ranked third.
He successfully applied to the John Ibbotson Fund for sponsorship to cycle with a semi-professional team for a season and was due to move to France at the end of January 2011.
Kevin Balyckyi, Lewis’ father, said “We miss Lewis terribly and want to keep his dreams alive.
“We wanted to support charities that play a vital role in our region and felt that the North West Air Ambulance would be a worthy cause given the important service they provide in helping to keep cyclists safe on the roads.
Lynda Brislin, chief executive of North West Air Ambulance, said, “We were so sad to hear of Lewis’ passing. We feel honoured to be one of the charities the Balyckyi family has chosen to support with this inspirational event.”
There will be three rides named after Lewis’ favourite phrases: the Chillax Ride, the Men and Boys Ride and the Man Up Ride, all with varying levels of difficulty.
The rides are open to all and will take place on Sunday starting at Preston Sports Arena.