Mum does charity bike ride in dad’s memory

Amy Thorley as a baby with her dad Alan Bower
Amy Thorley as a baby with her dad Alan Bower

A mum-of-three has got on her bike to raise money for charity in memory of her father – and has shed pounds in the process.

Amy Thorley from Lanfranc Road in Worthing, is taking part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride, which raises money for the British Heart Foundation.

Amy Thorley, right, with her daughter MBpAEY2BagFQM8Iret7n

Amy Thorley, right, with her daughter MBpAEY2BagFQM8Iret7n

The 39-year-old, who works at the Splashpoint Leisure Centre, will be riding for her father Alan Bower, who died in 1998 from a sudden heart attack aged 68.

Amy was 21 at the time, and was told the news while staying with her sister in London. She said it was ‘horrific’ and a ‘blur’.

“I was a proper Daddy’s girl. He was a brilliant man. I’m gutted that he doesn’t know my children and never met my husband, but I know he would be really proud of me.”

Amy said she has always struggled with her weight. But after years of yo-yoing, 18 months ago, Amy, then 38, found herself at her heaviest weight.

I’m gutted that he doesn’t know my children and never met my husband, but I know he would be really proud of me

Amy Thorley

“I was massive,” she said. “I was the heaviest I had ever been, even being pregnant with my third child.”

With three young girls to think about, and the memory of losing her dad in her mind, Amy decided she wanted to lose eight stone by her 40th birthday in July 2017 – just weeks after the London to Brighton Bike Ride takes place.

She said: “My mother’s words were ringing in my ears: ‘darling, when you hit 40 it becomes much harder to lose the weight’. So I knew I had to do this.”

She began running 5k races along the coast and took up swimming regularly. She also joined Slimming World, and lost four stone.

Soon Amy wanted an event to train towards, to take up something new.

She decided to sign up to the London to Brighton Bike Ride, despite having not ridden a bike in decades.

Now, 12 months into her new lifestyle programme, Amy has lost five stone in weight and from cycling just a couple of miles in her first training session she can now do 16 miles a day.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to the bike ride. It will be the culmination of all my hard work.”

To others thinking of doing the bike ride, she said: “You have to remember who you are doing it for. I have three small children and I want to be around for them.”

To donate to Amy’s bike ride, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AmyThorley.

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