From the Sunderland Echo Friday 20th October 2017
A deaf man has cycled the length of Britain in tribute to his mother and the team who helped comfort in her final days. Mark Grimes, 42, from East Herrington, rode almost 1,000miles in nine days as he joined the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (RAB) in aid of Macmillan. The route took the cyclists from Land’s End to John O’Groats, with Mark believed to be the first deaf competitor to take part. The accounts administrator, who is a member of Sunderland Clarion Cycling Club, signed up for the challenge in support of the charity after it helped care for his mum Constance, who was originally from Ryhope. She was 68 when she died after becoming ill with pancreatic cancer. The cycle challenge brought together 800 riders, backed by a support crew of 180 people, with several other charities given a boost thanks to sponsorship. He has raised almost £600 for Macmillan, but is keen to get more donors on board to pledge their support. He said: “The support the family received from Macmillan was invaluable, so I wanted to give something back to them.
“They helped my Mum to be as comfortable as possible until she died of pancreatic cancer nearly two years ago. “As the charity relies on funds from general public, their work is important and provide an invaluable resource and support to families affected by cancer. “That is my motivation for undertaking such an ardrous challenge. The hard work, sweat, tears and physical pain that I encountered on the ride is nothing compared to what my Mum went through as she was dying from cancer. “It was also to achieve my ambition of riding from one end of UK to another, thus ticking it off my bucket list as I am keen cyclist.
“According to the organisers of the RAB, I was the first deaf rider to participate in their event. “The event took nine days from start to finish, without rest days in between and averaging 107 miles per day.” “I had an accident on day five on the way north when I suffered gashed hip and thigh, but carried on.” He added his thanks to all friends, family and colleagues who have donated, as well as the support he was given by Cycleworld bike shop in Sunderland city centre.