A 56-year-old resident of Stoke Gifford has embarked on the trip of a lifetime to raise money for the local branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL).
Matthew Moran flew to San Francisco on 1st April and is going to spend three-and-a-half months cycling across America. Matthew isn’t making the trip easy for himself, as his route is going to see him take a few detours on his way across the country. He began his journey by heading south from San Francisco to take in some of the Californian coastline before heading east to Fresno. After Fresno, Matthew will conquer the aptly named ‘Death Valley’ en route to Las Vegas. Once there, he plans to visit the Grand Canyon before slowly continuing on to the city of Denver through ‘Monument Valley’.
After Denver, Matthew will head South East towards Memphis, via Kansas, and on arrival, will be able to take in all the Mississippi river has to offer. Another slight detour will see him head predominantly north as he aims for Chicago, before heading east towards Washington D.C. via yet more famous cities such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh. After three-and-a-half months of gruelling cycling, Matthew will reach New York, bringing his sponsored trip to an end.
Matthew has already spent time raising funds for the RBL when, in 2011, he was joined by his son Fraser and together they cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Again, they decided not to take the most direct route and instead took in five of the highest peaks in the UK, making their journey 1,100 miles instead of the normal 830 mile distance. With support from friends, family and members of the local community, that trip raised over £2,000 for the RBL. This time around, Matthew has a target of raising £7,500 for the charity.
David Bell, press officer of the Stoke Gifford Branch of the RBL said:
“This is wonderful news. Matthew, and his family, are such great supporters of the RBL and this is a great feat and we hope people will be generous in their support of Matthew’s efforts and the RBL. We would like to thank Matthew for his great work supporting the RBL.”
The branch hopes to have updates on Matthew’s Journey on its Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/StokeGiffordRBL
The RBL has always been a charity close to Matthew and his family’s hearts as they supported his father-in-law, David Griffiths, who served in the Royal Army Service Corps. David was suffering with lung fibrosis when the RBL stepped in to help him, providing him with a mobility scooter which gave him a new zest for life and enabled him to travel around the village again. It was this help and support that encouraged Matthew to start raising funds for the RBL and his current trip across America is in memory of David.
If you would like to support Matthew during his incredible journey and donate to the RBL, you can visit his JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/CyclerideUSA
The money raised for the Poppy Appeal goes to the RBL’s Welfare Fund, which is used to give help and support to current and ex service personnel and their families.
Photo: Matthew Moran ready to leave for his fundraising trip.
This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 23). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.