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Cycle4Heroes, the brainchild of our biggest fundraiser, former Royal Engineers Sergeant Steve Craddock MBE, raised more than £4,000 when the peloton took to the Kent countryside.

Craddock, 64, from Chatham, has raised more than £500,000 for the Charity since 2009, and he was delighted to be able to stage the ride again after a two-year hiatus owing to the pandemic.

Craddock said: “It went really well. We had 50 riders participating. Everybody enjoyed it; we got everybody out and everybody back in safely. I had four motorcycle marshals out on the course, constantly riding around to make sure everybody was OK, as it was quite a hilly course.

“I’ve had a lot of positive messages of support and thanks for the day, with people expressing how much they enjoyed themselves and we raised £4,000, which is a good figure in this climate.

“I had cracking sponsors in Maidstone and Gravesend-based Gullands Solicitors, and Alison Baldwin, at Coast Communications, has been brilliant, but the event is a small fish in a very big pond.”

Off they go: riders set off on the 47-mile route
Off they go: riders set off on the 47-mile route - Andrew Garnham

The 47-mile route offered some teasing climbs, fast flats, and stunning scenery. It started at the Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham, before heading out to the North Kent Downs and returning by following the River Medway.

But, never one to rest on his fundraising laurels, Craddock is already planning for 2023 – and he may change the popular event’s format.

He explained: “For next year, I’m thinking of having a three-day event. I’m currently running a poll on the Cycle4Heroes site, with three options: keep it as it is; remain one day, but add in a couple of extra distances; or change to a three-day event, stay in a hotel and do three different loops from there, visiting places of special interest – and that one seems to be the most popular concept by far.

“I’ve done a three-day ride before, and it worked well. There are a lot of good routes we can do, so, watch this space.”

Our Area Fundraising Manager, John Carpenter, said: “‘Geordie’ is a legend at the Charity and never fails to astonish us with his enthusiasm and dynamism. His ‘just do it’ attitude has been an inspiration, not only to his fellow veterans, but also those of us who work for Help for Heroes. Once more we find ourselves expressing our gratitude to him for his efforts in our cause.”

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