Spotlight on Matty Pree – Boxing off an eye-catching bike ride, within the current COVID 19 ‘allowable exercise’ rulesPublished on: 23/04/2020
Matty Pree is already a hospice hero. He’s completed three other significant bike rides since 2015 to raise funds for Wirral Hospice St John’s and now he’s just completed in a nice way, his most ‘daring’ yet!
Yes, that’s because, on Saturday 25th April, Matty cycled 18.8 miles on a special route around Northwest Wirral to sensitively comply with the lockdown restrictions of our current COVID 19 crisis.(The ride only took him an hour, which is much less than his previous or future* planned cycling fundraisers for the hospice)
He was in training for a 193 mile ride this summer for the hospice but the coronavirus has put paid to that (look out for the *From Chepstow to CH46 in 2021).
So he’d been thinking about what he could do to help raise some funds, stay within government guidelines but, do something eye-catching to capture the imagination?
Well, what about riding around NW Wirral wearing only his BOXERS?
Yep! Tick! Brilliant! Well in Matt! And, it certainly caught people’s attention Can we call you ‘Cyclo-Matt’ (like Speedo Mick)? (He was also clear that he would also have to wear a safety helmet though!)
I asked Matty why he supports the hospice and he told me about his Dad, Ronnie, who passed away here in 2015 after living with lung cancer which metastasised into a brain tumour. (Ronnie is pictured here with Matty’s Daughter, Darcey)
“The hospice was absolutely brilliant with my dad. The whole team were fantastic, second to none, and made Dad, our Mum, Mary, my brother, Phil, and I feel as at home and welcome as it was possible to be.
My dad was married to mum for 43 years, he’d been a taxi driver and loved his fishing, crown green bowls and he was a dab hand at Bridge.
He was also a doting grandad to my daughter Darcey, who was only two when he passed away, and my brother, Phil’s children, Jessica and Jake.
We loved him dearly and miss him deeply but he could not have asked for better compassionate care when his illness was at its most challenging.”
It’s emotional for Matty to recall but he smiles when he starts to tell me about the other bike rides he’s done in his dad’s honour and to raise funds for the hospice. (Ronnie is pictured here with Matty’s Mum, Mary)
The first one was The Wild Wales challenge. Around 100 miles of cycling taking in 10,000 feet of climbs. Spectacular views which Matty only vaguely recalls as it was both exhilarating and exhausting!
In 2017 and with his friend, Chris Iveson, he took on The Way of The Roses, over two days from Morecambe to Bridlington, up-hill and down-dale, this time for a measly 175 Miles!
Then the Ride around North Wales, this time 143.5 miles in July 2018. It was the hottest day of the year and again some of the most beautiful scenery may have been missed as Matty powered on, taking in gallons of water.
Wow, well done sir! Along the way Matty’s rides, on his lonesome or with a pal, have raised a couple of thousand pounds for the hospice, for which he has every right to be very proud.
So, on Saturday 25th April, at 12 noon he set off, for an hour, down to his ‘boxies’, the way you do, and following a circuit which startsed at home in Moreton took in Upton, Arrowe Park, the ‘Barnston Blast’, Heswall, Thurstaston, West Kirby, and through Hoylake and back home, via Moreton town centre.
If you’d like to see the route Matty took and, maybe, give the fund a little boost check out Matty’s ‘Just Giving’ page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/matthew-pree4
On finishing the circuit Matty said,
“I was a bit nervous going out in my pants at first, but after a few miles it was fine. Got lots of beeps and shouts of encouragement which was nice. One slight downside was I almost had a collision with a car, the first one since I was 19 and I was in my underpants. A car pulled out on me and I hit the side of the bonnet. I reacted quickly enough and it was a minor bump. Felt sorry for the lady driving she was a little shaken up. She apologised and offered to donate. All in all had a good ride out in my pants and the weather was great. I raised even more than I have for any of my rides, that must have been the choice of clothing! I am not sure I could cycle across Wales in a day in my boxers though.”
Nowadays he’s also got young son, Luca, alongside Darcey (now 7), looking up to their inspirational dad (pictured left).
Thank You Matty, absolutely superb! Maybe next year’s 193 miler will top the lot!
However, when he does get around to that challenge, it’s going to be hard doing all of that distance in just his undies!!!
Author: Billy Howard
If you’d like to take on a challenge during lockdown or even later in the year for Wirral Hospice St John’s, check out www.wirralhospice.org/getactive and as soon as you’re ready, get in touch with the Fundraising team on 0151-343-0778 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll support you all the way!
Here’s Ronnie Pree, Matty’s dad, in his younger days, pictured below.