Keith Hemmings, company secretary at event services company Joe Manby Limited, joined more than 450 cyclists on 10 September to complete this year’s gruelling 105km Big Bad Bike Ride around the Yorkshire’s Wolds.
The ride contributed to Hemmings’ sponsorship total of over £5,000 for Ataxia UK, which he has supported for six years. The total raised by the ride was £1m.
Ataxia UK supports research into potential cures for Friedreich’s Ataxia, a genetic degenerative neurological disorder affecting children and adults.
Building on the legacy of previous rides, which raised around £960,000, this year’s ride has already raised at least a further £90,000 for the charity, taking the total raised since the first ride in 1991 to more than £1m, which it itself represents a sixth of all research funds invested by Ataxia UK in the same period.
The charity receives no direct government funding and all the funds raised go towards developing treatments for Ataxia.
The bike ride was set up by York businessman Graham Kennedy after discovering that two of his children suffered from the genetic disease, for which there is currently no treatment or cure.
Hemmings said: “It was tough – but it isn’t called the Big Bad Bike Ride for nothing! There’s always a huge sense of satisfaction and achievement at the end of the ride but this year was even more special because reaching the £1m represents such a massive triumph for Graham, his team and all participating riders over the past sixteen rides.”