An estimated 300 riders turned out at Newlands Corner, Surrey yesterday to remember Kris Cook, the cyclist from Woking who died of a heart attack during last weekend's RideLondon Surrey 100 sportive.
Led by Kris’s girlfriend, Nicola Tait, the group rode to the top of Newlands hill, with the road closed by police to allow the ride to take place unhindered, reports GetSurrey.co.uk.
Afterwards Nicola Tait said: “I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who came today to help me up and pay my last respects to Kris.”
Kris Cook had originally aimed to raise £500 for Woking Hospice. The total on his Just Giving page now stands at over £42,000.
Nigel Harding, chief executive of Woking and Sam Beare Hospices said: “It's an absolutely amazing turn out in support of Nicola and Kris’s family and in remembrance of such a tragic event.
“There has got to be about 300 cyclists.
“I expected anything from 20 to 200, but not this many.
“The police have been absolutely brilliant in supporting everyone in this sad event.”
As well as Kris Cook's friends, participants included riders who felt they should show their support and solidarity.
One of them, Will Hodson, from Tooting, said: “It's awesome seeing everyone pulling together.
“I didn’t know Kris but I just had to take part.
“The cycling community is very friendly as it is but this just proves the best of it.
“I’ve never been part of something that is the result of a viral campaign before and to see the fundraising page go up has been amazing.
“It's just made me think that if something happened to me or one of my friends I would want the same thing to happen.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.