Meet the Cycling Samaritans and Sam, their van

We are a team of cyclists planning to ride from London to York in aid of Samaritans. We’re raising funds to support the charity’s vital work.

We had planned to ride in 2020 but we’ve now postponed until May 2022 because of Coronavirus. We’re hoping that other cyclists will join our team for 2022. Everyone is welcome to join the ride. Help raise much-needed funds for the Samaritans Central Charity or a local branch.

We all love what we do as Samaritan volunteers or supporters. We now face the challenge of getting fit for a 350 mile ride over 6 days.

Join our team, follow the ride and give what you can afford. Help support Samaritans’ vital 24/7 service for people whose lives are in crisis or simply need to be listened to.


Steve Johnson

Supporting the Samaritans Central Charity

(Ride Co-ordinator)

Email Steve:

In 2019, Steve cycled solo and ‘unsupported’ from Sussex to Shetland meeting some wonderful, friendly and generous colleague Samaritans en-route. Some even joined Steve for parts of the ride. As co-ordinator of the London – York Heritage Ride, Steve will be driving the support van on the journey to York and then riding back to London.


Annie Marshall

Yeovil Samaritans

 Annie is a veteran of the Lands End to John O’Groats cycle ride. She’ll have lots of valuable advice to give to the rest of the team. Like the rest of us though, Annie’s taking nothing for granted. Annie’s already been interviewed on local radio and given vivid descriptions of the thrills and spills of distance cycling as well as some very compelling reasons for being a Samaritans volunteer.

Annie is raising money for Yeovil Samaritans.

Brian Rouse

Stoke on Trent Samaritans

Recently Brian completed the Hebribean Way cycle route. He regularly commutes to work by bike and completed almost 4,000 cycle-miles in 2019. Brian’s focus for 2021 is the Samaritans’ Heritage Ride to York.

Brian is raising money for Stoke Samaritans.


Charles Jepson

Blackburn Samaritans

Charles is the most experienced member of our team. He’s planning to ride all the way home over the Pennines once we reach our York destination.

Charles is raising money for Blackburn branch.


Keith Middleton

Colchester Samaritans

Keith has the least far to travel to the start but he’ll then be turning round to cycle all the way back to Colchester. It’s the first stop on our 6-day journey! Keith will be driving to Greenwich in the Colchester Samaritan’s van which will be the ride’s support vehicle. Keith describes himself as an occasional commuter and leisure rider.

Keith is raising funds for Colchester branch.


Piers Armstrong

Winchester Samaritans

Piers has been a Samaritans Listening Volunteer for seven years took up cycling again on his 70th birthday with the aim of keeping reasonably healthy, and has been cycling with Winchester CTC for two years.  The London-York route will be his first journey of significant distance.  Let the preparations begin.

Piers is raising funds for Winchester Samaritans

Wendy Bateman and Helen Beech

Macclesfield Samaritans

Wendy has been cycling on her road bike for 5 years now and loves to go out with her son Ben. One of her favourite challenging rides is up the Brickworks into the peak district but she hasn’t done anything like this ride before. In training for the London – York ride Wendy will be commuting to her Samaritans shifts and aims to join a club when the Covid restrictions are lifted.

Wendy Bateman with son, Ben

Wendy, pictured here with her son Ben, is raising money for Macclesfield branch

Wendy will be joined by Helen Beech from Macclesfield Branch who will be joining the ride for Stage 3 (Cambridge to Kings Lynn).

Caitlin O’Kelly

North London Samaritans

Caitlin O'Kelly photo

Caitlin is a commuter and leisure cyclist, who will be going up a gear for her first long distance ride (and following a year of significantly less commuting…). Generally more of a running enthusiast, she will also be aiming to run the virtual edition of the London Marathon for Samaritans three weeks later.

Caitlin is raising money for North London Samaritans, and has been a Samaritans volunteer in London for the last four years. 

Steve Fretwell

Newbury Samaritans

Steve Fretwell picture

Steve is passionate about cycling. He cycles regularly around the local area, mostly on shorter day rides.  Steve used to commute by bicycle, but for obvious covid reasons that hasn’t happened for a year.  The Sams Heritage ride will be longest ride Steve’s undertaken in a long, long time.  He’s really looking forward to the camaraderie of the ride and meeting fellow Samaritans.

Steve is raising funds for Newbury Samaritans

David Ayre

Chesterfield Samaritans

David is joining the ride for the 60 miles from Lincoln to Hull on his electrically-assisted bike …… perfect for the tricky uphiil stretches on the Lincolnshire Wolds. We’ll all be wanting a turn! Keep an eye on your bike David.

David is raising money for Chesterfield Samaritans.

Lindsay Rumsey

Chesterfield Samaritans

Lindsay is also joining the ride for one of its most inspiring stages – Lincoln to Hull. The Lincolnshire Wolds are definitely one of cyclings ‘best kept secrets’! Lindsay will be spending the spring getting fit for the ride and may even turn up on a new road bike! “I am getting back on my bike after a long break due to spinal surgery and this ride is the motivation I need!”

Lindsay is reaining funds for Chesterfield Samaritans.

David Bruce

Cambridge Samaritans

David will be joining the team at Cambridge and riding with us up to York. David is a late starter to cycling but now enjoys annual trips which have been predominately in Scotland. These include Mull of Kintyre to Cape Wrath via the Outer Hebrides; and more recently Shetland & the Orkneys. 

David has also cycled from Land’s End to John o’ Groats following an unconventional route, and which was spread over 3 annual legs, each approximately 450 miles.  

David is raising funds for the Samaritan’s Cambridge branch.

Richard James

Kings Lynn Samaritans  

Richard has completed several team and relay rides from Northern Scotland to the English South Coast. He will join us on 13th September for the Cambridge to Kings Lynn leg and the following day for the Kings Lynn to Lincoln leg.

Richard is raising money for the Samaritan’s Kings Lynn branch.

David Moyles

York Samaritans

David Moyles York

David will be riding the final stage from Hull to York with up to ten colleagues from York Samaritans.  York’s riders boast a range of experience from a Land’s End to John o’ Groats survivor to new riders enthused by Covid 19 lockdown and including a pair riding tandem. The York Branch looks forward to welcoming everyone to this historic northern city at the ‘finish line’ near the magnificent York Minster. 

Josh Silver

Harrow Samaritans

Josh is the ride’s latest recruit and will be cycling the entire 360 miles from London to York.

and …. Sam, our van

We would be lost without her.

Thanks to Colchester Samaritans for letting her go on a week-long adventure with us. Steve Johnson, ride-coordinator, will be driving the support van north to York and earning his sponsorship by riding back from York to London.

Want to join us?

Just call or text 07790 632 698 OR email