Cycling from coast to coast in memory of Sooz
Monday 16 August 2021
Suzannah Stuijfzand (Sooz) passed away from complications associated with bowel cancer in November 2020 aged 35. Her good friend Sam Sutton Reid from West Mersea took on a major cycling challenge in her memory.
After Sooz passed away, I just had to do something to raise money and awareness and honour her memory. I decided to cycle the 302.5 miles from Aberystwyth in West Wales to Aldeburgh on the East coast of Suffolk in three days.
I did this with some support but at least half of the ride was totally unsupported, which added to the challenge but also added to the adventure as I was on my own seeing what I could do. In total the ride took me around 20 hours of cycling through all sorts of different weather, including a very soggy (and at times difficult) second day. I started by dipping my wheel in the Irish Sea and finished by dipping my wheel in the North Sea.
It was amazing how much support I got and how much it meant to Sooz's immediate family and friends. During the ride I had lots of time to think and especially towards the end my thoughts often turned to Sooz and how sad it was she wasn't here anymore.
My original target for fundraising was £10 for every mile I rode, equalling a total of £3,025, however, in the end, due to the huge generosity of friends and family, I managed to raise over £8,000. I hope that the money I have raised will help others like Sooz and her family.
Sam's JustGiving page is here.