Since purchasing his first bike for his 50th birthday in October 2015, Paul Simpson of St Wilfrid’s Lodge No.8350 has already completed a 300 mile charity ride over four days in 2017, a 150 mile charity ride over two days in 2018 and a 100 mile ride in one day in 2019. All these rides included a tour of the Masonic centres in Leicestershire & Rutland and further afield. In total, Paul has raised almost £8,000 of which half has been donated to the local Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough.
He is now on his fourth bike and has cycled over 11,000 miles in the last five years, 4,000 of these during 2020. Typically Paul would cycle 100 miles a week, however, since lockdown this has increased to almost 200 miles a week. This year was to be a different challenge, Paul joined the Graces Racers team to participate in the Ride London 100 to raise funds for Neuroblastoma UK. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled, but Paul still wanted to ride 100 miles in a day with another team member. On Saturday 15th August 2020 starting at 8am at Gilmorton Playing Fields, Paul together with Gavin Gough from Graces Racers completed four 25 mile circuits, in six hours. He enlisted a support team of riders to help them on the day, of which many were fellow Freemasons (Andy Morris, Phil Caswell, Jason Clothier, Chris Pantelli, and Jon Taylor). Paul & Gavin’s local cycling club, Kibworth Easy Riders also provided support riders and Paul’s wife Denise and Gavin’s wife, Rita manned the main feed station. The halfway feed station was manned by fellow Freemason Dennis Crommentuijn-Marsh and his daughter Ellie. Some of the riders just supported over one circuit but many completed two or more circuits and Andy Morris completed the full 100 miles.
The Graces Racers fund-raising in aid of Neuroblastoma UK has raised over £6,000 as a team.