A PAIR of cyclists from Anglesey took on the challenge of a lifetime and joined the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and more than 14,000 other riders at the British Heart Foundation (BHF)’s London to Brighton Bike Ride, raising millions for the charity’s life-saving research.
Efan Milner, 53, and Gwion Davies, 51, from the village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, had been training for months on roads in Anglesey and Snowdonia to ensure they were peak fitness for the challenge.
Project manager Efan decided to support BHF Cymru after he had a triple heart bypass operation in Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool in 2012.
He said: “This is the 10-year anniversary and I have been raising funds for the BHF ever since.
“I am very grateful for the research work they do which played a part in my surgery, using the artery from left arm rather than a vein from my leg.”
Gwion has been Efan’s mentor on the fitness side of things and has provided encouragement throughout.
He is a sports teacher in a secondary school and also referees rugby matches at the weekend.
The pair smashed their initial fundraising target of £1,500 and have raised an impressive £2,195 for the BHF’s research.
The 54-mile event returned on June 19 after a two-year hiatus due to restrictions put in place for large-scale events because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All money raised by the ride will go towards funding the BHF’s science that will help researchers understand how to better prevent, diagnose, and cure heart and circulatory diseases, which cause a quarter of all deaths in the UK.
The 54-mile route from city to coast started in the early hours from Clapham and ended on the Brighton seafront.
Efan added: “Everyone was in good humour, the rest stops were excellent and provided much encouragement.
“I was impressed with the range of bikes, from tandems and folding bikes to a 1970s Chopper, and we were very pleased to have completed it in three hours and 30 minutes.”
Now in its 45th year, the London to Brighton Bike Ride has hosted hundreds of thousands of cyclists who have pedalled the 54 miles to Brighton, raising more than £70million for the BHF’s research.
Nikki James, BHF area fundraising manager for Wales and Northern Ireland, said: “It’s stories like Efan’s that make the London to Brighton Bike Ride such an amazing event.
“Without their incredible commitment and dedication to raising money for life=saving science into heart health, the BHF could not help the 7.6 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases.
“We are so proud and grateful to Efan and Gwion for all the support they have given to our work.”
Heart and circulatory diseases cause one in four of all deaths in Wales: about 9,300 deaths each year – an average of 26 people each day.
Roughly 340,000 people are living with heart and circulatory disease in Wales.
To support Efan and Gwion’s fundraising, go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/efan-milner1.
Registration for next year’s event is open now. To find out more, visit: www.bhf.org.uk/L2B.