Epic cycle in memory of Worthing teacher

A 200-mile cycle ride in memory of a Worthing teacher is raising money for St Barnabas House hospice as a thank you for the care given to the 34-year-old father of two before he died.

Tom and Joe on a cycling trip in the New Forest six weeks before Joe died
Tom and Joe on a cycling trip in the New Forest six weeks before Joe died

Friend Tom Goddard, 35, plans to cycle the South Downs Way off-road trail between Winchester and Easbourne, in both directions, on June 24. He is going ahead despite a crash on his commute on June 10, which led to him needing stitches.

Tom, from Worthing, said: "The good people of the NHS stitched me back together and 10 days later, I managed to ride the SDW to Winchester and back (195km/ 121miles)! That will be my last long ride before the big day, so I can enjoy the carb-loading now!"

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Joe Pascoe, an international triathlete, was Tom's best mate and just six weeks before he died in September last year, the pair went on a cycling trip in the New Forest.

Tom and Joe during a swim-run event

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These are the children who started school in Worthing in 2009

Tom said: "Even when he was ill, Joe was determined to stay active, so he got an e-bike and we continued to go riding together.

"Joe spent the last few weeks of his life being cared for by the fantastic nurses from St Barnabas House and the care they gave him was incredible. I want to raise money for the hospice to say thank you for all they did for Joe at that time."

The friends met at Tuff Fitty Triathlon Club in 2012. Tom plans to honour Joe by cycling from Truleigh Hill YHA, north of Shoreham, to Eastbourne and Winchester, and back again, covering 200 miles in 24 hours.

Tom said: "I think Joe would have thoroughly approved of this idiocy. As soon as we met, we became close friends. Our kids are similar in age, so we were going through similar life experiences together. We’d always have a laugh and a moan about them growing up too quickly and not getting enough sleep.”

Joe, a fun-loving teacher at Whytemead Primary School, was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma in December 2019. He was cared for by St Barnabas House and passed away at home in September 28, 2021.

Tom said he was 'quite possibly the nicest and funniest person you could meet'.

Visit www.justgiving.com/tomgoddard2022 to make a donation.