Garstang man to cycle from the Isle of Wight to the Isle of Lewis for Matthew Hesmondhalgh Memorial Fund

A Garstang grandad will cycle 900 miles from the Isle of Wight to the Isle of Lewis in memory of his brother.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 10:44 am
Michael Coleran
Michael Coleran

Michael Coleran will take on the challenge on April 1 in aid of CRY via The Matthew Hesmondhalgh Memorial Fund. The money raised will go towards providing free heart screenings for youngsters aged 14 to 35 - something he wished his brother Keith had when he was younger.

Michael, 68, said: “My brother Keith died suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition more than 30 years ago, aged 37. Maybe if he had been screened when younger he may have lived a full life.”

The father-of-two, who has four grandchildren, first completed the challenge six years ago, after coming up with the idea almost 40 years prior to that, and he is looking forward to retracing his cycle steps.

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Michael Coleran, of Garstang, during his previous cycle challenge, from Isle of Wight to Isle of Lewis

He added: “The idea for this came in 1975, when I was working as a prison officer at Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight. I met a colleague who came from Isle of Lewis and I joked it would be a good ride between the two islands. I never got round to it until six years ago. I raised £2,000 for British Heart Foundation in honour of Keith.

“I really enjoyed it and although it was hard work, I wanted to do it again.

“I met Barry and Paul Hesmondhalgh who lost their son Matthew to an undiagnosed heart condition in 2011 and thought I would raise money for their cause.

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In the middle of the island is the formidable maximum security Parkhurst Prison and from there, I will begin my ride, finishing two weeks later, via The Outer Hebrides, in Inverness having covered around 900 miles at an average of 65 miles a day.

“I will be riding my rather heavy touring bike which will not be a fast, or an easy ride. My average speed will be around 12mph so that means many hours in the saddle.

“It will all be worth the effort though as I am raising funds for heart screening for young people at Garstang Academy.

“Every £50 I raise will pay for a local young person to be screened - possibly saving his/her life, and saving a family from the misery of losing a son, daughter, brother, sister, husband or wife.”