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Josh pedals 54 miles in memory of his mum and grandmother

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A local cyclist completed a charity bike ride in memory of both his mother and grandmother who died of the same heart condition.

Josh Shailes with supporters at the start of Sundays London to Brighton charity cycle ride. (12493101)
Josh Shailes with supporters at the start of Sundays London to Brighton charity cycle ride. (12493101)

Josh Shailes, was one of the 16,000 British Heart Foundation (BHF) Champions who took on the London to Brighton Bike Ride on Sunday(16), helping the charity raise more than £2 million.

The event, which took place on Father’s Day, saw tens of thousands of BHF cyclists start the 54 mile challenge in the early hours of the morning at Clapham Common.

The route took participants through the south of the Capital, down into the beautiful countryside of Surrey and Sussex, up to the stunning views of Burgess Hill summit and then down to Brighton’s seafront where they were met with a symphony of cheering and applause from the crowds.

Josh, 24, from Outwell, raised £600 for BHF’s research into heart and circulatory conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia.

Josh completed the challenge in under four hours, all in memory of his mother and grandmother who both died of aortic aneurysm, a condition where the artery or veins swells to an abnormal size.

When his mother died in January 2018, seven years after his grandmother passed away from the same condition, Josh has been determined to raise awareness of heart and circulatory diseases which claims the lives of 170,000 people each year in the UK.

After crossing the finish line, Josh said: “Taking part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride for the British Heart Foundation was a really fantastic experience. The atmosphere at the finish line was absolutely brilliant and I enjoyed every moment of the ride – even the hills!

“It was truly wonderful to have so many supporters there and the camaraderie between the riders was pretty inspiring. It feels even better knowing that the money I’ve raised will help the BHF fund vital research into preventing, diagnosing and treating heart and circulatory diseases and I’m just proud to join the charity in their mission to beat heartbreak forever.”

Roshan Teeluck, head of events at the BHF, said: “It’s great to see Josh’s determination in completing this year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride. The success of this event is testament to the fact that cycling is such an inclusive sport that everyone can enjoy and we’re grateful to all our BHF Champions for getting on their bikes and fundraising for our life saving research.

“Without the dedication and commitment of BHF Champions like Josh, who have helped us raise a phenomenal amount of money this year, we wouldn’t be able to fund research that will help more than seven million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases.

This year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride marked 44 years of the BHF’s flagship cycling event. Since its inception, elite and novice riders alike have pedalled over 41 million miles between them and raised over £70 million to help the charity and beat heartbreak forever.

Registration for next year’s event is now open. To find out more, visit: https://www.bhf.org.uk/L2B2020

To take part in any other BHF’s bike rides, visit: https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/events/bike-rides

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