The wife of cyclist Christian Smith, killed during a charity ride in Kent last month has vowed to complete his journey – and add to the £80,000 the trip has raised for charity, almost all of it donated by strangers following his death, reports the Canterbury Times.
Mr Smith, aged 38, died after being struck by a Peugeot 206 car on Old Thanet Way, 20 miles from the finish of a 248-mile, 24-hour solo ride he was undertaking for the charity Mind, from which he had himself received support in the past.
Many people raising money for Mind at last weekend’s London Marathon wore blue ribbons in his memory, and Paul Farmer, the charity’s chief executive, described a pledge by Mr Smith’s wife Katie to finish the ride as “truly inspiring.”
“We want to extend our special thanks to Katie Smith who is doing something truly inspiring by completing Christian’s challenge later in the year,” he said.
“We will be encouraging members of the public to support her in whichever way they can.”
Initially, Mr Smith was aiming to raise £1,000 for the mental health charity, but as news of his death spread beyond his friends and family and and was reported by both the local press and cycling media including road.cc, donations piled up and now stand at almost £81,000 on his Just Giving page.
A spokesman for Mr Smith’s family added: “It would be a fitting tribute to Christian’s efforts if the total raised could reach £100,000 and donations are still being taken on his page.”
Police arrested an 18-year-old woman and 19-year-old man on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving in connection with Mr Smith’s death, although no charges have yet been brought.
[Comments have been disabled on this story]
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.