The first Great North Bike Ride took place in August 2000, to raise money for the Chris Lucas Trust.
The Trust was established in memory of Chris who died age 16 of a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer – rhabdomyosarcoma.
Soon after Chris’ death, John Lee, the father of one of his best friends, wanted to help fundraise and proposed cycling 12 hours from Edinburgh to Tynemouth. Thankfully, John and five friends were persuaded instead to choose a more manageable 60 miles along the beautiful Northumberland coastline from Seahouses to Tynemouth – and so the route was established.
Tynemouth Priory was one of Chris’ favourite places to visit, both during the happy times and sad times, and so it is a fitting place to end our annual Bike Ride, with a celebration of Chris’ life. In that first year, £2,000 was raised by those six cyclists. Sixteen years later, and there are over 2,500 people participating in the Great North Bike Ride raising funds for vital medical research into this rare form of childhood cancer.
The Chris Lucas Trust now funds two medical researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research. We hope that one day they will find a cure for this cancer that affects 60 children in the UK each year.
It is with thanks to those first six cyclists – David Moncrieff, Gary Ross, Gavin Lee, Stewart Lamb, John Lee, and one of our dear friends Brian Giles, now Chairman of the Trust – for establishing the event, and making this research possible. We hope that you will be able to join the Great North Bike Ride, continuing Chris’ legacy and raising money for this important cause.
Can’t make the Great North Bike Ride?
Why not join us for this year’s Jingle Bell Walk, raising found for the Chris Lucas Trust.