Charity bike ride to be held in memory of late Tom McClelland

Tom McClelland was a tireless campaigner for utility cycling.
Tom McClelland was a tireless campaigner for utility cycling.

Tom McClelland’s extended family are organising an endurance charity bike ride in his memory to raise money for the British Lung Foundation.

Tom, who was a leading estate agent in Lisburn, died from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in February 2014.

“The bicycle is the affordable, efficient, healthy, non-polluting, congestion-busting future of urban transport” Tom McClelland

Tom was a tireless campaigner for “utility” cycling; cycling for journeys of under five miles with no special equipment or clothing required and every day cycling that improves health and wellbeing.

To remember his campaigning for safer and more inclusive cycling, five members of his extended family have decided to exert some effort and are going to cycle 425 miles round Northern Ireland wearing suits and dresses; utility everyday apparel.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is one of the few conditions for which there is still no known cause and no successful treatment.

Hence the family have chosen to promote the work of the British Lung Foundation by their cycle ride.

Tom worked closely with the Department for Regional Development. He was a member of the Cycling Forum for NI and Minister Danny Kennedy (DRD) has agreed to start the cycle.

He was also an ardent supporter of the national cycling charity CTC and a supporter of the Giro d’Italia coming to the Province.

Tom was a leading estate agent who had acted as a spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Northern Ireland.

Thomas Beckett, Mayor of Lisburn, will say a few words to cheer the group on their way at the start of the cycle.

Tom promoted everyday cycling because the more people are seen cycling on the Northern Irish roads, the safer our roads will become; safer for all vulnerable road users.

He supported the ‘20’s Plenty’ campaign for slower speeds in residential areas, knowing that at 20 mph a pedestrian or cyclist has a 95% chance of survival in a collision whereas at 40 mph survival is only 5%.

The ride will start at the offices of McClelland Salter Estate Agents, Lisburn on the morning of Monday, August 24 where there will be photographs at 9am and the ride is to start no later than 9.30am.

The first stop will be at the Ulster Wildlife Trust Offices in Belfast around 11am.

Tom was a past Chair of the Trust and they have named their new offices after him.

See Sense Lights are donating lights to the ride for safety, while John Hanna cycles are providing cycle repair and maintenance equipment.

The group set out with a target of £425 but have received overwhelming support with £2,415 currently been donated.

If you want to support the cycle donations can be made to the British Lung Foundation at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Cyclingsuitsni.

You can also follow the ride on Twitter and Facebook.