Billericay fundraiser to cycle Route 66 & raise £100,000 for cancer research UK

James and Mark with bikes

James Van Cleef, 53, of Billericay, Essex and his brother-in-law Mark Bayliss, 60, who lives in Helston, Cornwall, are on a mission to raise £100,000 for Cancer Research UK in memory of James’ son Adam who sadly died aged 23 to a soft tissue cancer, synovial sarcoma.

James said,

"It was his second battle with cancer and he lived his life with passion and vigour, but died in June 2018,"

James said,

"Adam was always keen for his experiences to be used by researchers to help their understanding of cancer, the development of improved treatments, and to boost survival rates.  This outlook, thinking how others could benefit even if he could not, is perhaps the essence of ‘Riding for Adam.’  Whatever money we raise will not be for our Adam, but it will be for all those whose young lives will be changed because of cancer.  It is for them, and their families, so they can hold on to the hope that cancer is conquerable."


Mark and James have so far raised over £50k by cycling John O’Groats to Lands End in 2018; the 500 mile pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain in 2019; and a 500 mile cycle around the Scottish Highlands & North Coast.

The couple had plans to complete their US Route 66 challenge this summer, but sadly they had to postpone due to Covid-19 & instead of taking the year off and having a rest, they decided to go to Scotland to complete another challenge for Cancer Research UK. 

All being well, the couple will complete their final cycle ride - an epic 3,400 mile trip from New York to Chicago, and along Route 66 to Santa Monica, California beginning in August next year. 

Mark has also decided to add to the fundraising pot his annual profit from his holiday home in Cornwall and Original Cottages was quick to support the cause too. Mark said,

"It will be great for our visitors to Chy Kala to know they are contributing to our huge fundraising target while they enjoy a fantastic holiday!"

Jessica Allchin, Cancer Research UK’s local fundraising manager for Essex, said:

"We are absolutely blown away by the efforts that Mark & James’ are making to achieve their goal of raising £100,000 for Cancer Research UK, it’s lovely to see their different challenges every year & to see them raising such a huge amount of vital funds for Cancer Research UK. We can’t thank them enough. Cancer Research UK has made enormous progress in the fight against cancer. However, we have only been able to do this thanks to the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters without whom we would not be able to fund our research."

If you would like to support Mark & James, you can book to stay in Mark’s 3 bedroom holiday cottage in the beautiful Porthleven, Cornwall here; https://www.originalcottages.co.uk/cottage/chykal-chy-kala. Or you can donate to their fundraising page which is; https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/marks-giving-page-124

For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit cruk.org.