Shrewsbury man prepares to ride across Britain in memory of mum

A Shrewsbury man is preparing to cycle across Britain in just nine days in memory of his mum, who died earlier this year from motor neurone disease.

Ged Kennedy, 49, of Dunedin Drive, will set off on his epic 969 mile journey from Lands End to John O’Groats on September 6 – the same day his mum, Ann Kennedy, would have celebrated her 73rd birthday.

He will complete the organised nine day Ride Across Britain challenge on September 14, coinciding with his own 50th birthday.

Mrs Kennedy passed away in March this year after a two-year-long battle with motor neurone disease.

The degenerative condition causes part of the nervous system to become damaged effecting important muscles which control walking, speaking, swallowing and breathing.

Mr Kennedy, a director at Stan’s Cycles in Shrewsbury, pledged to raise £10,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association following his mum’s death and this particular challenge has so far helped raise more than £2,500 for the charity.

He said: “Motor neurone disease is a terrible condition. From diagnosis to death mum had just 27 months. It was horrendous.

“When I saw the Ride Across Britain dates I knew I had to do it. It starts on what would have been mum’s 73rd birthday and what’s more marks the six month anniversary of her passing.

“It then finishes on my 50th birthday in Scotland where I was born so I will be riding home after all these years. It just seems so fitting in so many ways.

“My family will be meeting me at the finish so it will be a chance for us to reflect back on the good times with mum.”

Mr Kennedy is a keen cyclist and regularly competes in endurance events but he says this will be a challenge of a different kind.

“I’m not so worried about the distance, I’m generally pretty fit” he said.

“What’s worrying me more is that we will be staying in a tent in the middle of a field most nights.

“I think that will prove to be the tricky bit. It will be like being in the army. In my younger days it might have been okay but I’m used to warm showers and a comfy bed these days.”

People wishing to sponsor Mr Kennedy can do so by visiting his charity page at http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/mt/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=GerrardKennedy&un_jtt_redirect.

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Pete White Pete White

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