Riding for Adam is something we wish did not exist, but it does because a young man, Adam, was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2016, aged 21, and sadly died in 2018, aged 23. This was the second time he had cancer.
Soon after Adam’s second diagnosis, we, James and Mark—Adam’s Dad and Uncle—agreed to cycle the length of the mainland of the United Kingdom, from John o’ Groats in the northeast of Scotland, to Land’s End in the southwest of Cornwall. We simply wanted to raise £10,000 for Cancer Research UK, because we believe that research saves lives.
The idea to cycle from John o’ Groats to Land’s End seemed foolhardy. We had bikes and knew how to ride, but we never really cycled any great distance before. And neither of us are built like cyclists!
So we set off on our daunting adventure in late August 2018. By the time we crossed the finish line in Cornwall we cycled 1,100 miles and raised more than £35,000.
While we were riding the length of the UK, we joked to each other; ‘This has been a doddle! We’re good enough to cycle across America!’ Our wives did not find it funny, but this absurd idea started becoming a reality. Not only did we commit to cycling across the USA, we also increased our fundraising goal to £100,000!
Having never really cycled before, we now had to keep cycling…
Together we have cycled the Camino de Santiago (Camino Frances) in Spain, cycled the North Coast of Scotland, and have cycled between all forty-two Anglican cathedrals in England. So far, we have cycled 4,100 miles, and have raised over £280,000.
But we’re not finished! On 21 August 2022 (delayed since 2020), we, along with our support team Iain Every (who was Adam’s godfather) will cross America, starting in the Big Apple, down to the City of Brotherly Love, across to the Windy City, and then getting our kicks on Route 66 before arriving in the City of Angels. Santa Monica Pier to be precise. And we will be raising money for the American Association for Cancer Research. And we will be adding another 3,400 miles to our tally!
Not bad for a couple of aging men who never really cycled before.
Riding for Adam. Every time we ride, we carry Adam with us. We remember his life, his humour, and the impact he made on so many people’s lives. We wish he was with us. Yet as we ride we can ‘hear’ him cheer us on…
Riding for Adam. Adam is a Hebrew name, which is related to ‘red’ (appropriate, given his ginger hair). But it also is a generic term for ‘humanity.’ So, when we ride for Adam, we ride for everybody because the benefits of research are universal. We ride for those whose lives will be changed by cancer, for their families and loved ones. And our Adam would approve, because he was ‘other’ minded.
We always ride with hope. We hope for an end to cancer, for a day when cancer becomes an entry in history books. Past discoveries and current developments combined with incredible scientific intelligence means that an end to cancer need not be mere wishful thinking. It is possible.
But to make that hope reality, money for vital research is needed, and you are invited to be a part of making history. Your support will ensure that fathers do not unnaturally outlive their sons. Your support will mean that things like ‘Riding for Adam’ will become redundant. Are you ready to make a difference?