HE lost one of his closest friends to a heart attack – so David Hague knows all too well just how important it is to stay fit and healthy.
That’s why he’s signed up to take part in the British Heart Foundation’s Round the Harbours bike ride at the age of 72.
The active pensioner, of Long Down, Petersfield, was left devastated when his friend Arthur Magee died instantly from an aortic aneurysm in January this year.
A post-mortem revealed that Arthur’s arteries were clogged, and had he known, he might have been able to do more to look after his heart.
It was this thought that inspired David, who had been friends with Arthur since the age of 19, to take part in the ride in his memory.
‘When Arthur died, it was such a shock to everyone who knew him,’ he said.
‘He was holding a glass and he just went crashing to the floor and the glass smashed.
‘There was no suspicion that he was ill, it seemed to come from nowhere.
‘I was devastated. I can feel myself choking up when I think about it.’
David hopes to raise at least £100 for BHF’s research through the 35-mile circular route.
The ride, supported by The News, passes through Southsea, Havant, Fareham and Gosport using the two ferries to link the areas.
BHF hopes 2,012 people will take part this year, in spirit of the Olympics – and we’re calling on readers to sign up.
David, who is a keen cyclist and regularly takes part in 20 mile rides, added: ‘Cycling is such a beautiful way to see the countryside and it’s an enjoyable way to get some exercise.
‘But there’s a real social side to it too.
‘It’s a great thing to do with friends and it’s a whole lot more fun than being stuck in an armchair doing crosswords.’
To take part in Round the Harbours bike ride, all you need to do is call 0808 100 2109, email email@example.com or go online and log on to bhf.org.uk/roundtheharbours.
Entry fees in advance cost £15 for an adult of £7.50 per child.
Entry on the day costs £20 for adults and £10 for children.
Participants will be split evenly between each point and finish where they started.
The ride is fully supported with bike engineers along the way and is family friendly, but parents are reminded that the route is mostly road-based.