Late brother is inspiration for charity ride

READY TO RIDE Paul Howden, is taking part in The Ruby Ride in aid of The Rowans Hospice in memory of his brother Steve Howden who died last month and was cared for at the hospice in his final weeks. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132511-030)
READY TO RIDE Paul Howden, is taking part in The Ruby Ride in aid of The Rowans Hospice in memory of his brother Steve Howden who died last month and was cared for at the hospice in his final weeks. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132511-030)

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ALTHOUGH he was a big man, describing Steve Howden as ‘larger than life’ had more to do with his personality.

The 41-year-old, of Portchester, died last month, after battling with kidney cancer and lung cancer.

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

His brother Paul was touched by the help given by the hospice, and has decided to take part in The Ruby Ride cycle challenge.

Paul, 46, a GP, of Bishop’s Waltham, said: ‘Steve loved cycling, and people would always say he was larger than life.

‘He was a big guy, and the name was partly down to that.

‘But it was more to describe his personality.’

Steve, who worked as a project manager, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in November last year.

He had an operation to have his kidney removed and went on to chemotherapy.

But then in July this year he was told the cancer had spread to his lungs and it was terminal

He died on August 28, and his funeral is due to take place tomorrow in Portchester Crematorium.

‘I had seen posters for The Ruby Ride at the hospice, and Steve liked cycling, so thought it would be good to take part,’ added Paul.

‘My sons Jack, 16, and George, 13, will be taking part and riding their uncle’s bikes.

‘We hope to give something back to such a caring hospice.’

Steve is survived by his three daughters Ellie, 17, Megan, 14, and Amber, 11, who will be cheering on the cyclists.

The fundraiser, which has 410 people signed up, takes place on Sunday, and there are three routes to choose from, which will start and finish at Lakeside, North Harbour:

· Leisure (18 miles) – cyclists loop around Portsea island, using cycle paths and cycle lanes on the road.

· Challenge (30 miles) – along Portsdown Hill, riding 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.

Registration on the day is £30 for adults and £15 for children.