In Memory of Ed Knight: Honouring a Cycling Enthusiast and Beloved Supporter

Following our earlier acknowledgment, we would now like to share that Helen Rollason Cancer Charity sadly lost one of our greatest supporters at the Ride for Helen cycling event this month, Ed Knight. Ed had supported Helen Rollason Cancer Charity since 2017 helping us to be there for those living with cancer and their loved ones. 

Andrew Watson, his “partner in crime”, shares Ed’s story.

Ed Knight, an enthusiastic, and knowledgeable vintage bicycle rider, with an infectious grin, and boundless energy brought a whole new dimension to the Ride for Helen event. In 2017 he turned up with his “ordinary bicycle” more commonly known today as a “Penny Farthing”.

The bemused faces of the onlookers turned to incredulity as three more riders crossed the start line on their machines with front wheels measuring anything from 48 to 54 inches high.

The following year Ed arrived with an eclectic mix of men, women, and children all riding penny farthings. They completed the 15-mile route arriving back at The Crix to sign out, only to shoot off around the house to do the six-mile route just so that they could stop at Paper Mill Lock for a spot of lunch!

 

Every year since then, Ed Knight has turned up in the company of fellow vintage bicycle enthusiasts on an array of beguiling machines. The firm crowd favourite, however, remained the towering Penny Farthings. Anyone who showed an interest could suddenly find themselves clambering up to the saddle under the patient guidance of Ed, whilst trying not to look terrified as they posed for a photo with their head 9 feet off the ground. The more daring would then find themselves being given their very first lesson in riding a Penny Farthing as Ed encouraged a quick go behind the start line.

Ed had a deep knowledge and understanding of the development of the bicycle, and would soon be involved in an engaging explanation with those who wanted to know more.

Over the years, Ed had ridden his bikes throughout the UK and Europe including a Penny Farthing ride from Paris to London. Everyone who met him soon became firm friends and a short acquaintance would feel like a friendship of years, he just seemed to find time for everyone.

A true gentleman of the cycling world, he was intrigued by the often-ingenious creations of the early bicycle pioneers and if he couldn’t find an existing example, as a gifted engineer he would make his own.

When ride for Helen Suffolk was created, Ed took his Victorian bicycle collection to display at the start line. He set off on several occasions on various machines never getting more than a few hundred yards, much to the amusement of the other riders.

Once again, this year Ed set off from The Crix on his Penny Farthing, smiling and waving as he rolled down the drive towards the exit. He had a great ride with his companions, heading off the beaten track for tea and cake, before finally re-joining the route to head back towards Hatfield Peverel.

Suddenly, without warning, he collapsed and despite immediate help from his friends, passers-by and the quick response of the emergency services, Ed passed away at the scene doing the thing he loved….cycling.

We at Helen Rollason Cancer Charity will miss such a gregarious and knowledgeable gentleman.  Ed was, and will remain, part of the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity family. In his honour the 15mile route will now and forever more be known as Ed’s Route; granting all cyclists the opportunity to ride, eat cake and smile in his memory.

Edwin leaves behind his wife Mary, his daughter Claire, son in law Tony and two grandchildren, Ayrton and Ila.

If you feel you would like to donate to the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity in Ed’s memory, or leave a message of condolences, please do so below. We will share all your kind words with his family.

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