Cyclists unite for St Luke’s Tour de Moor
Community-spirited cyclists braved the wilds of Dartmoor at the weekend, raising much-needed funds to support local hospice care that makes an important difference to families affected by terminal illness.
After putting on the brakes last year because of the pandemic, the Tour de Moor biking challenge in aid of St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth made its return on Sunday 10 October, attracting more than 1,400 participants, which exceeds the total in 2019. The popular, annual family-friendly event, sponsored by Print Copy Scan, a local supplier of printers and copiers, saw cyclists take on their choice of an adrenalin-packed, hill-filled, 52km mixed terrain route; a tough 30km ride over hills and through woods, or a more gentle 11km ride along the tarmac paths of Drake’s Trail.
Not only does Tour de Moor provide for every level of cycling ability, the money it raises means our highly skilled teams can be there for more families, providing expert medical care as well as vital emotional, practical and spiritual support.
Among the cyclists taking on the mud, sweat and gears of this year’s Tour de Moor were those doing so in memory of their lost loved ones.
One of the brave 945 people doing the demanding 52km route, in which cyclists tackle the notorious Widowmaker hill not once but twice, was Lydia from Peverell, participating in tribute to her much-loved nanny, Margot. St Luke’s looked after Margot at home eight years ago before sadly, she died.
“It feels important to give back to St Luke’s.”
Tackling Tour de Moor with brother Conor and friends, Lydia said: “This is the first time I’ve done the event and although I’ve been down the Widowmaker before, I have never been up it! It’s a tough challenge but it feels important to give back to St Luke’s because they were just so wonderful in the way they looked after Nanny, making her comfortable at home.
“She was an amazing lady and so very caring. Losing her hit me really hard and I’m grateful that St Luke’s were there for me, too, with a listening ear when I needed support.”
Also doing the 52km route for the first time was Lesley, from St Budeaux. She said: “I wanted to join in because of the difference St Luke’s made when my Auntie Lena needed their care back in 2007. It is very peaceful at Turnchapel, and she was looked after with such compassion – nothing was ever too much trouble.
“I miss my auntie a lot. She was an incredibly positive person, including throughout her illness, and always thinking of others. Tour de Moor is my way of saying thank-you to the hospice team for caring for her so well.”
“I can’t speak highly enough of St Luke’s.”
Making Tour de Moor a family affair was Ian, from Plympton, taking part in the 30km challenge with son Oliver, aged 9. The duo was doing the event in memory of Ian’s aunt, Gill, who died of cancer last year. She was looked after by St Luke’s at home before she passed away.
Ian said: “As a former Wren, my auntie had that military spirit and was very bubbly and outgoing. It comforts me that she was able to accomplish the things on her bucket list before she died, and also that she received the very best of care from St Luke’s.
“Oliver remembers her fondly too, so doing Tour de Moor together is very special. He can’t wait to take on the extra tough 52km in a few years’ time! It’s good to know that the money we raise will help more local families affected by cancer and other terminal illnesses. I can’t speak highly enough of St Luke’s and the important work they do.”
“What an amazing day!”
St Luke’s Events Lead Georgina Mayhew said: “What an amazing day! Tour de Moor is always a fantastic event but this year felt all the more special as we welcomed cyclists back after last year’s cancellation due to COVID safety measures.
“Our charity relies on the kindness of our community to help us continue looking after local people so they can live well to the end of their lives. Our cyclists did us proud and we are very grateful to them for getting on their bikes for us. Thanks to them, we can be there for more people who need us, ensuring they get the best possible care and support at the end of their lives.
“We’re already excited to be planning Tour de Moor 2022 because it is set to be one of the highlights of St Luke’s 40th anniversary year!”
We would like to thank Print Copy Scan for their ongoing sponsorship of the annual event, as well as recognise the kindness of Dartmoor National Park and Maristow Estate for the use of their land, Dartmoor Rescue Group, Devon and Cornwall 4×4 Response and Devon and Cornwall Cycle Marshals for their valued support, and the Dewerstone Café for help with facilities.
On any one day, we looks after around 300 people with life-limiting conditions at home – where the majority of patients receive their care – in hospital and at our specialist unit at Turnchapel. Our service covers from Salcombe to East Cornwall via Tavistock and the moors.