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A group of dedicated cyclists came to Grace Road this afternoon as part of a very special journey in memory of a dear family member and friend.
The Big Bike Ride 2013, which has raised more than £144,000 so far for the Tom Maynard Trust and the PCA Benevolent Fund, passed through Leicester as the riders continue to move towards Lord’s.
The three groups of around 80 riders, including former Leicestershire players Darren Maddy, Tim Mason and Lee Daggett as well as England batsmen past and present in Marcus Trescothick and Jos Buttler, had to brave terrible weather conditions as they cycled across the Midlands today.
Cyclists started out this morning at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, moved on to Derby, and came to the home of Leicestershire cricket before pedaling on to Northamptonshire’s Wantage Road base.
The riders took in some food and drink at Grace Road, and the stop allowed them to take shelter from the heavy rain and strong gusts that have swept across the region today.
Leicestershire batsman Matthew Boyce took part in the first two days of the ride from the Riverside, Durham on Friday to Old Trafford, Manchester via Yorkshire’s Headingley base. It has been a wonderful effort from everybody involved, with so many challenging situations faced along the way.
Tom’s father Matthew, pictured, is part of the cycling team and he is delighted with how everything has gone. He said: “It’s been very good, the guys and girls have worked very hard. There’s a lot of mileage to cover and we’ve done well so far. The money is coming in fantastically to great charities, so all in all, it’s been great.
“People have been very generous and that’s the thought of a lot of the riders when it gets tough. People have invested in them to make this challenge; it was never going to be easy but it has probably been tougher than a lot of people thought. Everybody is working so hard to make it a success.”
The riders are hoping to raise £200,000 and are almost three-quarters of the way there. Please support these two excellent causes if you can - the links are included at the bottom of this article.
The Tom Maynard Trust will exist initially to help the development of aspiring disadvantaged cricketers and other sports people who require support with different aspects of their career development, including bursaries, help with training and education, financial support for overseas placements and assistance with kit and equipment.
The PCA Benevolent Fund is part of the organisation’s commitment to helping current and former players and their dependants in times of hardship and upheaval, or to readjust to the world beyond the game.
If you would like to sponsor Matthew Boyce, his fundraising page is available here: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/matthewboyce1
The general page for donating, which is approaching £150,000 including Gift Aid donations, is here: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/pcabfandtmtbigbikeride/95594
* Thanks to Ed Melia for providing these photographs.