A group ‘Pedal to Hereford’ bike ride from Southampton was completed at the weekend in memory of Gordon Stephens MBE, who studied at The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in the 1940s and 1950s.
Gordon passed away in 2015 and his family set up a memorial trust to help support the work of the RNC in Hereford who gave Gordon the opportunities and skills to lead his extraordinary life.
Robin Stephens, Gordon’s son, organised the 160 mile cycle challenge and roped in a group of friends and family to keep him company.
Starting out from Southampton on Friday afternoon (4 October), Robin and his band of merry cyclists, took to the roads and made their way to Salisbury for their first overnight stop.
Day two saw the intrepid cyclists leave Salisbury and head for Bristol. Thankfully, the remnants of Hurricane Lorenzo did not hit the UK at the weekend as predicted.
On Sunday, RNC staff, students and volunteers headed out on tandems to the Moon Inn at Mordiford to meet the party and escort them into Hereford.
Robin and wife, Kim, crossed the finishing line first on their tandem, in the shadow of Stephen’s Hall, named after Robin’s father. They were greeted by a large party from RNC who cheered everyone over the finish line.
A tribute to Gordon Stephens had recently been placed in Stephens Hall so the group took special interest in this.
Robin said: ‘It was so beautiful to ride the final few miles into Hereford in company with the RNC Tandem Club. The welcome at the College was quite overwhelming for us. I was greatly moved by the beautiful framed photographs of Dad and the accompanying Braille text in Stephens Hall. Our team thoroughly enjoyed the whole adventure and everyone has expressed how very impressed they are with the wonderful set up at the College and the great work that they do.’
It was a very happy and sometimes moving, occasion and everyone at RNC is hugely grateful to everyone that took part in this phenomenal challenge which has raised over £3,500 to support the work of The Royal National College for the Blind. If you would like to make a donation, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/pedal-to-hereford.