A Monaco resident for more than ten years, Andrew Benson signed up for yet another 100 miles of cycling challenge in London again this year. “I am not your regular enthusiastic cyclist,” says 74 year-old Andrew, who keeps fit, nevertheless, exercising daily at Club39. 

His cycling challenges started when he supported his son in 2013, and from then on he accepted sponsored rides for many worthy causes. “I really do not think about my age. If I told myself I’m too old, I wouldn’t do it.”

This year, however, is a special one. Andrew will be cycling in memory of David Harding, a friend for over 50 years who died in February 2022 from pancreatic cancer. “He fought it bravely for 18 months and in his memory I will be cycling the London 100-mile challenge for the Pancreatic Cancer Research charity on May 28.” 

Andrew met David in Leicester while building up his successful packaging business which he later sold and moved to Monaco where David was a resident already. The friendship continued and was an important part of Andrew’s “rather quiet life” when he retired at the age of 62.

Survival rates for most cancers have improved enormously, but sadly for pancreatic cancer this is not the case. New tools for early diagnosis are desperately needed and Pancreatic Cancer UK has groundbreaking research on the way to develop the world’s first breath test for pancreatic cancer which could revolutionise the early detection of this devastating disease. 

The fundraising has started already and Andrew successfully passed his target of 500 pounds. However, as he puts it, “it’s a different story to cycle a mile for 10 pounds, when you can do it for 20.”

“There will be 20 year-olds who will do this challenge within four hours. It will most probably take me nine, but for me the goal is to do it. To finish it. For David.” 

You can donate and show your support here: https://2023ridelondon.enthuse.com/pf/andrew-benson

Ford RideLondon is the world’s greatest festival of cycling offering the rare chance to enjoy riding a range of distances on traffic-free roads throughout London and into the beautiful Essex countryside.

PHOTO: Andrew Benson Martina Brodie