Col­leagues sad­dle up in mem­ory of su­per-fit PC

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - KATIE SANDS katie.sands@waleson­

FRIENDS, col­leagues and rel­a­tives of a po­lice of­fi­cer who died ear­lier this year after suf­fer­ing from cancer are gear­ing up to take part in a 100-mile bike ride in his mem­ory.

PC Mike Evans died in May this year after suf­fer­ing from ter­mi­nal cancer.

In Novem­ber 2016, al­most 200 cy­clists raised £6,000 on a 100-mile bike ride in the name of the Brid­gend po­lice­man.

The money from the first Cen­tury Cy­cle went to­wards Cardiff’s Velin­dre Cancer Cen­tre’s brain tu­mour re­search fund.

Su­per-fit PC Mike and his fam­ily had raised more than £40,000 at the time of the 2016 ride after his di­ag­no­sis ear­lier that year.

He couldn’t take part in the ride him­self last year be­cause chemo­ther­apy had af­fected his bal­ance, but sup­ported cy­clists along the course.

This year, friends, fam­ily and col­leagues of Mike will be tak­ing on the chal­lenge in his mem­ory after his death in May.

The 100-mile route will start and fin­ish at South Wales Po­lice’s head­quar­ters in Brid­gend, and see rid­ers travel through Rhondda, the Bwlch Moun­tain, Port Tal­bot and the Vale of Glam­or­gan. There will also be a 55-mile op­tion, re­turn­ing to po­lice head­quar­ters be­fore other rid­ers head to the Vale of Glam­or­gan.

Fire sta­tions in Porth­cawl and Llantwit Ma­jor will be used as “feed sta­tions”, so cy­clists can re­fuel and rest their tired legs.

Lo­cal busi­nesses have also got be­hind the event, with two “Team Sky” branded ve­hi­cles from Brid­gend Ford ac­com­pa­ny­ing cy­clists, while me­chan­i­cal sup­port will be pro­vided by OnitS­ports, from Porth­cawl, and Ride Bike Wales, of Llantrisant.

With the event in its sec­ond year, all funds raised this year will go to­wards Head­first: The Velin­dre Brain Tu­mour Ap­peal. More than £55,000 has been raised for them so far since Mike’s di­ag­no­sis.

Ian Green­man, area man­ager at South Wales Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, is one of the event’s or­gan­is­ers

He said: “We were over­whelmed by the sup­port for last year’s #TeamEvsy bike ride and we feel this year’s event will be a fit­ting trib­ute to a great man.

“We’d love to see even more peo­ple tak­ing part this year, even if it’s just en­cour­ag­ing the rid­ers from the side of the road.”

In a state­ment from Mike’s fam­ily, they said: “So long as Evsy’s mem­ory lives in our hearts, we’ll say that life is good.

“The grat­i­tude we feel for hav­ing loved him changes the pangs of mem­ory into joy and priv­i­lege that we were part of his life – and now his legacy.

“The fam­ily would like to send their thanks to our part­ners South Wales Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, South Wales Po­lice, Aim2Tri, Brid­gend Ford, Ride Bike Wales, Onit and all our vol­un­teers and sup­port­ers.

Matt Jukes, deputy chief con­sta­ble at South Wales Po­lice and one of Mike’s col­leagues, said: “Mike was a friend who I would love to be rid­ing with but so sadly, can’t.

“He made a huge im­pact on me and so many peo­ple who are all de­ter­mined to re­mem­ber him, but also de­ter­mined to live by his ex­am­ple – be­ing the best you can, tak­ing on chal­lenges and rais­ing money to help those who need it most.

“Mike’s legacy lives on in this ride and ev­ery­thing #TeamEvsy con­tin­ues to do.”

Rid­ers are able to en­ter prior to the event and on the day, and are be­ing asked to do­nate £30 and an en­try fee.

For more information, you can visit www.eventbrite.­ing-the­hun­dred-for-teamevsyt­ick­ets-36793679887, or to do­nate visit: https:// www.just­giv­ fundrais­ing/teamevsy

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