Whiteley doctor’s charity ride to remember brother

(l-r) Richard Gardner and Mitchell Sawyer, both from Dirt2Road, with Guy Partleton, from Bicycle Recycling with the first 'signee' Dr Paul Howden, as Anne Yendell, director of finance and operations gets his signature. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141914-7666)
(l-r) Richard Gardner and Mitchell Sawyer, both from Dirt2Road, with Guy Partleton, from Bicycle Recycling with the first 'signee' Dr Paul Howden, as Anne Yendell, director of finance and operations gets his signature. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141914-7666)

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IT WAS a touching way for a doctor to remember his brother and raise money for the hospice that helped him.

That’s why Paul Howden will once again be taking part in the Ruby Ride.

In its third year, the fundraiser for The Rowans Hospice gives cyclists the choice of picking one of three routes – 18, 30 and 65 miles.

The 47-year-old, a GP in Whiteley, will saddle up in memory of his brother Steve, who died last August aged 41 after battling kidney and lung cancer.

He stayed at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and The Rowans Hospice in Purbrook in his final few weeks.

Paul said: ‘I did the ride with my two young sons and they used his bikes, which we thought was a fitting tribute to him.

‘This year we wanted to take part again as we enjoyed it, and make it more of a family outing as well.’

Steve is survived by his three daughters Ellie, 17, Megan, 14, and Amber, 11, who Paul hopes will be taking part in the challenge this year.

Ann Yendell, director of finance and operations for the hospice, said: ‘This is our third year of doing the cycle ride.

‘We wanted to offer people a different way of supporting The Rowans.

‘It’s been great so far – last year we had 500 cyclists and we hope we can that many again, if not more.

‘We’ve also kept a choice of three routes to suit all cycling abilities.

‘The leisure route is largely flat, while the challenge route has a few hills, and then epic is for serious cyclists.’

The ride takes place on September 14, and starts and finishes at Lakeside in Western Road, North Harbour.

The longest route will be the first to start at 9.30am.

All those who take part will get a T-shirt, refreshments en route and a medal on completion.

People can sign up by collecting a form or downloading a form online by September 5.

Cyclists can sign up on the day, but registration will cost £30 for adults and £15 for children.

Group Bicycle Recycling will be on hand to check bikes over, and Dirt2Road, in Castle Field, Southsea, will also help.

To find out more visit rowanshospice.co.uk

There are three cycle routes to choose

CYCLISTS can choose from one of three routes depending on their ability.

- Leisure (18 miles) – cyclists loop around Portsea.

- Challenge (30 miles) – along Portsdown Hill, past the hospice and back to Lakeside via Portchester.

- Epic (65 miles) – same as the Challenge route, but going through Petersfield, the Meon Valley, Wickham, and Portchester.