Ross Howcroft-Jones - whose father Kevin is a lecturer in Engineering at the college’s Rhos-on-Sea campus - along with several teammates, will be undertaking the mountainous journey of 758.21 miles over seven days in July 2022, in aid of Cancer Research UK and Mind Cymru.
Gaye, Ross’s mother and Kevin’s wife, sadly passed away last Christmas at the age of 59 after battling cancer for a third time. Ross chose Ibiza because, since August 1997, Cala Pada - a small village on the north east coast of Ibiza - had become the annual holiday destination and second home for the family.
Ross has written a memorial, and an abridged version can be found below.
“I was seven-years-old when I first went to Cala Pada, and as I grew up, I explored the island with friends who came out to stay with my parents. My mum and dad made great friends with the islanders and were invited to weddings and christenings, as well as celebrating their own wedding anniversary there each year.
“Since 1997, my mum and dad have only missed two summers. The first being in 2008, when my mum was diagnosed with a form of lung cancer. She received treatment and it was a testing time, but as ever, showed determination to recover after having a third of her lung removed. In 2010, my Mum was diagnosed with a second bout of cancer in the womb. She had an hysterectomy and recovered to show off her scars on the beach of Cala Pada. As Covid-19 struck the world, it was clear that the summer of 2020 would mark the second time that my mum and dad would be missing their summer trip in 23 years.
“Whilst all trips abroad were being cancelled, in April 2020, my Mum was diagnosed with a third bout of cancer in her spine. Following an unsuccessful operation, she was confined to a wheelchair, but her wish was to spend her 40th wedding anniversary with my dad in Ibiza in the July of 2021.
“We set out plans and wanted to grant my mum’s wish, however the worst was yet to hit us. In August 2020, my Mum was diagnosed as terminal, she was given 3 months to live and we witnessed the demise of a woman loved and respected by so many. My mum passed away on 26th December 2020 at the age of 59. I arrived at the hospital by bike, and left by bike, 32 miles I will never forget.
“Covid-19 travel restrictions put a stop to dad and I visiting Ibiza to spread my mum’s ashes in July 2021 for their 40th wedding anniversary, so we decided we would wait until summer 2022.
“An idea over a drink in the pub with my friend Josh escalated to plans to ride from home, Glanwydden, North Wales, to Cala Pada, Ibiza to spread my mum’s ashes.
“Josh, also known as ‘son’ to my mum, set up the idea to ride in her memory. It will require skills, attitudes and characteristics which she promoted throughout her hardest days with a smile on her face. It is also testament to the significance of riding a bike with good friends and the positive impact it can have on personal well-being and mental health for those who are affected by bereavement. As a result, we will be raising money in aid of Cancer Research UK and Mind Cymru with this self-supported ride.”
Please see a list of the riders involved below, alongside their Instagram links in order to follow their journey live.
Ross Howcroft-Jones (@rosshj7)
Josh Pierce Jones (@jpj1990)
Aiden O’Leary (@aidenoleary)
Kieran Wynne-Cattanach (@kieranwc)
Jac Lewis (@jaclewis97)
Chris Mann (@chrismann01)
Dylan Kerfoot-Robson (@dylankr)
Ben Kitchin (@benkitchin)
Guy Butterworth (@guybutterworth1)
Jack Cole (@jack_cole93)
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James Alcock (Wob) (@jamesalcock)
Lead on communications and joining for the ride as and when throughout. ‘Wob’ will be ahead of the ride on the days when accommodation is needed and organising stops for the riders.
Tomos Davies (@tomdaviescycling_00)
Joining from Glanwydden to Portsmouth for Stages 1 and 2 in the UK.
Callum Dixon (@cdixon091291)
Driving to France on his honeymoon, but has managed to convince his wife to let him ride Stage 4 and Stage 5...thanks Cate!
Stages and Associations
Stage 1: Glanwydden – Crewe Railway Station
(In association with the Glanwydden Trust)
Stage 2: Soho, London – Portsmouth International Port
(In association with Rapha Cycling Club)
Stage 3: Le Havre, France - the Eiffel Tower
(In association with Jess Dineen Hairdressing)
Stage 4: Bourg St-Maurice - Vaujany Lac
(In association with the Queen’s Head Freehouse)
Stage 5: Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves – Port-les-Valence
(In association with WE Cycle)
Stage 6: Nimes – St Hippolyte
(In association with Ryan Morely Coaching)
Stage 7: St Hippolyte – Barcelona
(In association with Birch Bakery)
Stage 8: Ibiza Port – Cala Pada
(In celebration of Gaye Howcroft-Jones)
Final stage notes:
Riders will arrive in Ibiza Port for 6.30am and take the short journey to Cala Pada
Evening entertainment will commence on the beach with a local Spanish band, paella,
Glanwydden Community Village Party.
*Various train and boat journeys in between stages
For more information on how to donate, please see links below: