Nearly 100 riders took part in the fourth annual Riding for Ryan event, spreading the word as they cycled around Lincolnshire about the importance of wearing helmets.
The event, hosted by Fantasy Island in Ingoldmells on Sunday as part of Bike Fest 2018, was raising funds for the charity of an inspirational young man, Ryan Smith, who suffered severe brain injuries in a cycling accident five years ago.
Twenty-one year old Ryan, who led the riders on routes of 50k or 100k from the car park opposite Fantasy Island, said he was delighted with the turnout. “it’s our fourth one and I’m really pleased so many are here,” he said.
Alongside him on their specially converted bicycle was Mark Smith, Ryan’s proud dad.
He told the riders at the start: “What a turnout! We’ve advertised it late this year but what can I say - such fantastic numbers supporting this young man who is doing wonderfully.
“These guys at Fantasy Island have been incredibly supportive. This is our fourth year now and, thanks to my beautiful other half Samantha and my daughter Charlie, who have done the registration this morning, they have just confirmed one shy of 100, so in that short time amazing numbers - thank you so, so much.”
What a turnout! Such fantastic numbers supporting this young man who is doing wonderfully.Ryan Smith’s father, Mark
Ryan took park in the 50k, also supported by Skegness Tri Club’s Lee St Quinton and Clare Draper, who is the financial director for Fantasy Island and recently completed a 14-mile Wash swim to raise funds for four-year-old Jocelyn Leaver, who is fighting high risk Neuroblastoma - a rare childhood cancer.
Mark, who had accompanied Claire on the swim, paid tribute to her efforts in raising a staggering £17,000 so far. He said: “I was privileged to support Claire this year, along with Lee, and I have to say in nine hours that girl swam the hardest thing I’ve ever seen. So, well done girl.”
When asked by the Standard whether 50k would be easy for her after that, Claire said: “Not at all. I’ve spent the last six months doing nothing but swim but I’m looking forward to this - and getting back into training over the winter.”
Paige Harris, head of marketing at Fantasy Island, said they were honoured to continue working in partnership with The Ryan Smith Foundation on the annual event, The event was also supported by Morrisons, who donated flapjacks and bananas and Coastfield Leisure, who provided the water and manned the drinks station. Papa John’s also provided pizza for the riders when they returned to Fantasy Island.
Paige said: “We are delighted this year to have more riders than ever taking part and we hope the event continues to grow.”