At the age of 14 and the oldest of 4, my dad - 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, along side his family and friends, to help raise awareness and money for Parkinson UK and Ataxia UK.
My Dad was diagnosed with Ataxia and Parkinson’s and lived with these diseases for almost 8 years. Both degenerative neurological diseases, that interfere with the cerebellum - the motor memory powerhouse of our brain that helps us co-ordinate movement, speech, writing, 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 humour. 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 GIB come to life and following us every single step.
On Saturday 30th July 2016, a group of determined (and slightly bonkers!!) wanna be cyclists are going to make the same journey as John, leaving at 2am 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. 7am 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 the support team/vehicle, organise the finishing party/BBQ 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 we can help continue kicking their butts by raising money for these two amazing charities!