“It made a difficult thing that much easier” – why Steve is taking on his longest ride to support Weldmar
17th June 2022< BACK TO NEWS
In January 2020, Steve McMillan’s father-in-law, Tim, was admitted to Weldmar Hospicecare’s Inpatient Unit, and was there until he passed away on 28th February.
Now, Steve, a keen cyclist, is taking on his biggest challenge yet on two wheels and riding a minimum of 300km (186 miles) on Tuesday 21st June – the longest day of the year – all to raise money for the charity as a thankyou for that care.
“My mother-in-law was able to stay at the hospice for the whole time Tim was there”, says Steve, “which was incredible. We were there a lot too, and blown away by the support, the facilities, and just how fantastic Weldmar were.”
“The whole family make monthly donations, but I wanted to do something a bit extra. There’s a thing with cyclists about what your longest ride is. I did a lap of London last year, which was 250km so I thought I’d take it to the next level and do something really tough – this is not just me having a nice day out on my bike asking for sponsorship, this is going to be genuinely hard going and uncomfortable!”
Steve says, “We all appreciated how valuable Weldmar’s support was, and how it much it meant at the time. My sister in law has got a little dog, and she used to bring her in when we came to visit, and everyone was cooing over the dog and it just made everyone smile. It made a difficult thing that much easier.”
Until you are unfortunate enough to be in the position to need Weldmar, you can't really appreciate what goes on there, what the people do, and how amazing the care is. Just how everyone's heart is in the right place.
On the day of the ride, Steve will be leaving at sunrise – 4:45am – from his home in Esher in Surrey, and riding for around sixteen hours until the sun sets at 9:20pm. Although the route is being kept reasonably fluid, he plans to head to Brighton, ride around Devil’s Dyke, and head back to Esher to refuel with a coffee and a bite to eat. Then it’s onto Henley, perhaps with a diversion to the Chilterns, and then finishing at a pub with a pint – which he says will be much needed by then! Follow Steve’s route here on Strava.
So far, Steve’s fundraising has seen his total surpass £2,000. “It’s phenomenal, I never expected that. I work for a large multi-national company, and the CIO in America has chucked some money in, so have the people I work with in Scandinavia and across Europe, and so have family back home in New Zealand.”
So, how is Steve feeling ahead of the big ride? “I’m feeling okay, I’m good, I know I need to eat and drink and rest along the way, but its all in the legs. I think I’m ready!”