Elaine Macey tells us why she will be cycling 104 miles in memory of John Macey...

At the age of 14 and the oldest of four, John decided not to join the removal van with his family to move to his new home in Kent! Oh no, he thought it was a good idea to hop on his bike and cycle 104 miles to Ramsgate (via Canterbury to visit his Nan!), stopping off to note down bus numbers and take in the sites of London and the Kent countryside.

John was always a super active man, loving his cricket and football, and enjoying a laugh with his family and friends. John also supported a number of charities throughout his life, alongside his family and friends, to help raise awareness and money for Parkinson UK and Ataxia UK.

John was diagnosed with ataxia and Parkinson’s and lived with these conditions for almost eight years. Both degenerative neurological conditions that interfere with the cerebellum - the motor memory powerhouse of our brain that helps us co-ordinate movement, speech, writing and eating. Although John had to adapt his life to using a wheelchair and getting about at a slower pace, he always had a fighting spirit and witty sense of humor! Sadly on the 1st February 2016 we said goodbye to John, not because of Parkinson’s or ataxia, but to a cardiac arrest. We know he is now enjoying running around a cricket pitch again, watching the Euro 2016 footie and probably thinking 'what are you nutty cyclists doing?'!!!

On Friday 29th July 2016, a group of determined (and slightly bonkers!!) wanna-be cyclists are going to make the same journey as John, leaving at midnight from the home ground of his favourite football team - Watford. The 'John's 104 Mile Bike Ride' team are going to make their way through London at night, crossing over Tower Bridge to head South East via Dartford out to Kent. 6am Gillingham, at the 55-mile point, we will indulge in a big breakfast and pick up a team of another crazy cyclists who will join the final 49 miles. We will cruz through Whitstable; welcome our final team of lovely cyclists at Reculver to all enjoy the final leg of the journey to Westgate in Kent.

This event is not just about the cyclists physical journey, its about all the people who have volunteered to get involved to help be the support team/vehicle, organise the finishing party/BBQ, film a documentary about the journey and arrange sponsorship. All these people want to help raise awareness and funds for Parkinson UK and Ataxia UK, and would super appreciate any support and/or donations to this exciting and challenging event!

John's 104 mile Bike Ride is an event for everyone to get involved in, to help celebrate the life of John Macey - how he kicked Parkinson’s and Ataxia's butts, and how we can help continue kicking their butts by raising money for these two amazing charities! We warmly invite you to either join the cycle team (full, half or last 8 miles) or join us at a celebratory BBQ and fun on Westgate beach from 10-11am.

Thank you for reading, thank you donating, and thank you for helping us celebrate our funny, talented and lovely dad, husband, brother, uncle, friend.... John Macey.

Click the link to donate.