Sixth annual Randonnée raises £19,500

3 min read
Our sixth annual Isle of Wight Randonnée took place last weekend with a 65-strong field of committed cyclists setting out from the Fishbourne Inn.

Simon Tier (pictured right) at the start of the Randonnée

Organised by champion fundraiser Simon Tier, along with support from the Fareham Wheelers cycle club, (which also made a donation to help fund the event) participants had the choice of three different distances – a standard 65-mile tour of the island, a Super 100-miler, or an Ultra which meant circling the island twice (both clockwise and anti-clockwise) over a distance of 136 miles. Our pedal-pushers encountered multiple beauty spots along the way, as well as superb panoramic views, including of the 1,100 boats taking part in the annual Round the Island Race which took place on the same day.

Simon instigated the Isle of Wight Randonnée in 2017 after he lost four friends to brain tumours in a five-year period, including his best friend of 30 years to the disease in 2015. The cycling challenge has since gone from strength to strength, raising more than £5,000 in 2017, rising to more than £19,500 this year. Despite the Randonnée not taking place in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has collectively raised more than £56,000, enough to sponsor the equivalent of 20 days of research.

Simon Warren and friends

A group of riders headed up by Simon Warren rode in memory of 10-year-old Brooke Leavey, who died 11 months after her diagnosis with a diffuse midline glioma (DIPG). Despite cleats getting trapped in pedals and a couple of punctures the team had a great day and more than achieved their target to raise enough to sponsor a day of research.

Brain tumour survivoPaul Potter’s participation was after he took part in the charity’s Cycle 274 Miles in August last year, as well as riding the Tour of Cambridgeshire 100-mile Sportive last month. These have helped Paul raise close to £3,500 in donations. It was nearly 11 years ago that Paul learnt he had a golf ball-sized tumour behind his right eye when he was starting treatment for prostate cancer.

Paul Potter (centre) with friends Greg Hibbert and Jackie Gilbert who rode with him

Paul said: “I am happy to report that I have fully recovered from both the brain tumour removal and the prostate cancer treatment and consider myself very fortunate to still maintain sufficiently good health to continue cycling with no ongoing neurological deficit.”

A number of participants cycled in memory of parents lost to brain tumours, including Samantha Bullard who rode 100 miles around the island with her friend Tamara. She lost her dad Bob Bullard in 2015, two years after his diagnosis with a brain tumour. A year after losing her dad, Samantha was one of more than 60 people who took part in Bob’s Big Bike Ride through the Suffolk countryside raising £2,700 for the charity. 

Tamara and Samantha

Rob Hayward cycled twice around the island in memory of his dad Barrie who he lost just over a year after diagnosis with a high-grade brain tumour. Rob is proud his dad agreed in 2009 to be treated with a new treatment – a chemical dye that helped surgeons by colouring cancerous cells. Nine years later NICE recognised this treatment which is now available across the NHS. Rob said: “I am proud of my dad and his bravery!”

Simon Tier commended Rob for ‘his tenacity and endurance’. Rob was determined to complete the Ultra he had taken on even though it meant that he didn’t finish until 9.45pm and quite some time after others had started celebrating in the Fishbourne Inn, where the Randonnée started and finished.

Rob Hayward takes a breather during his ultra

Daniel Turner and Vanessa Kitching both cycled in memory of their mums. Four years before he lost his mum in 2018 to a glioblastoma (GBM), Daniel’s brother Shaun, had been diagnosed with a meningioma. Shaun has undergone two operations and is monitored with regular scans.

The award for the oldest cyclist to take part went to 85-year-old Brian Hygate from the Fareham Wheelers (usually known as Sid) who was also the oldest to take part last month in Ride London. 

Andy and Faye cycling for Ride 4 Simon

And the youngest was Faye Withers, aged 14, riding with her dad Andy in memory of family friend Simon Oldacres, the inspiration for our Fundraising Group Ride 4 Simon. A much loved husband and dad, Simon died from brain cancer in December 2016, aged 37. He was a keen cyclist and, following his diagnosis, pedalled to many of his appointments at the Bristol Royal Infirmary from his home in Chippenham.

Andy said: “He was a wonderful man and we miss him more than words can say.”

A huge vote of thanks goes to Simon and everyone who volunteered to help him and charity community fundraisers Deb Gascoyne and Charlotte James on the day, including John Wardle and his snappily-dressed assistant, Joe the Dog. 

John Wardle and Joe the Dog

We are already looking forward to the Isle of Wight Randonnee 2024 which it is hoped will have a new family-friendly route option. Watch this space!

For more information or to register your interest for next year’s event which will take place on Saturday 6 July 2024, email

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