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Together we will beat cancer

Mark Bayliss

Riding for Adam

Total raised


+ £8,536.78 Gift Aid

90%% Complete
90% of the £325,000.00 target

Sun 21 Aug 2022

For Adam Van Cleef, and his Grandad, John Bayliss, whose lives were marked by faith, hope, and love. Both at peace.

In memory of

Adam Van Cleef & John Bayliss

My Story

Riding for Adam is something we wish did not exist, but it does because Adam (James' son and Mark's nephew) was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2016, aged 21, and sadly died on 19 June 2018, aged 23. This was the second time he had cancer.(We include John Bayliss, Adam's Grandad. Adam called him G-man, or the Gaffa, and they had a great relationship. Sadly, Grandad had Alzheimer's in later life, and was also affected by bladder cancer. He died on 9 October 2022, aged 88.)Soon after Adam's diagnosis, we (Mark and James) agreed to cycle the length of the mainland of the United Kingdom, from John o' Groats in the northeast of Scotland, to Land's End in the southwest of Cornwall. We simply wanted to raise £10,000 for Cancer Research UK, because we believe that research saves lives.This idea seemed foolhardy; we had bike and knew how to ride, but we never cycled any great distance before. And neither of us are built like cyclists! Nevertheless, we see off on our daunting challenge in late August 2018, still very much in grief. By the time we crossed the finish line in Cornwall, we cycled 1,100 miles and raised more than £35,000!While on that ride, we joked to each other: 'This has been a doddle! We're good enough to cycle across America!' Our wives did not find it funny, but this absurd idea started becoming a reality. Not only did we commit to cycling across the USA, we also increased our fundraising goal to £100,000!Having never really cycled before, we were committed to keep cycling...Together we have cycled the Camino de Santiago (Camino Fances) in Spain, the North Coast of Scotland, and between all forty-two Anglican cathedrals in England. Our 'big ride' was always going to be from New York City to Chicago, and then Route 66 to Santa Monica, California. And we've done it! We cycled 3,625 miles through 13 states in two months. And we raised nearly $35,000 for the American Association for Cancer Research, as well as continuing to raise for Cancer Research UK.In total, we have cycled 7,725 miles (excluding training) to raised nearly £320,000 for cancer research, both CRUK and AACR. Not bad for a couple of aging men who never really cycled before!Our motivation is simply our love of Adam, and there are two ways we would like you to understand Riding for Adam:1) Riding FOR Adam. Every time we ride, we carry Adam with us. We remember his life, his humour, and the impact he made on so many people's lives. We wish he was with us. Yet as we ride, we can 'hear' him cheer us on...2) Riding for ADAM. Adam is a Hebrew name, which is related to 'red' (appropriate given his ginger hair). But it is also a generic term for 'humanity.' So, when we ride for Adam, we ride for everybody because the benefits of research are universal. We ride for those whose lives will be changed by cancer, for their families and loved ones. And our Adam would approve, because he was 'other' minded.We always ride with hope. We hope for an end to cancer, for a day when cancer becomes an entry in history books. And this is not wishful thinking, for scientists are blessed with incredible intelligence and they are discovering ways to make that hope reality. Hope is based on the trajectory of past discoveries, current developments, and future outcomes. Or as we find in the Bible, and conflating hope with faith, 'Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen' (Hebrews 11.1). We are able to do these events because we have incredible people supporting us, not least our respective wives. Without Penny or Karen our lives would be greatly diminished! Further, we have been brilliantly supported by Iain Every (Adam's godfather), who has made sure we were hydrated and ate right. More than that, he's an excellent friend, and we are relieved he was with us across the USA. Visit for more information about our rides, as well photo galleries, and for information about the work of Cancer Research UK. Please follow and/or like us (if you are able) on: Facebook: @RidingforAdam1 Twitter: @RidingforAdam1


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