Hundreds to cycle in memory of teenage cyclist killed in crash

Talented Lewis Balyckyi was on the verge of reaching new heights in his cycling ambitions when he was involved in a collision with a van as he trained on the roads of Bretherton in January 2011.

Talented Lewis Balyckyi was on the verge of reaching new heights in his cycling ambitions when he was involved in a collision with a van as he trained on the roads of Bretherton in January 2011.

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Hundreds of cyclists are set to take to the streets in memory of a promising teenage cyclist who was killed in a road accident.

The family and friends of Lewis Balyckyi, who lived in Leyland, have organised a non-competitive ride to raise money for The Lewis Balyckyi Trust - a charity which supports young riders become professional.

The 18-year-old was killed in a collision with a van whilst out training on his bike, just two weeks before he was due to race in Europe for a French Team, in 2011.

Kevin Balyckyi, Lewis’s father, said the annual event means ‘a great deal’ to him.

He said: “We wanted something to come out of this that was going to be positive and this is the only way that we could think of doing that.

“The ride itself is a means of raising money for the charity so we can help other riders fulfil their dreams, which Lewis didn’t get to do.

“We put an awful lot of work into organising this ride and if we don’t raise funds then we can’t carry out the charity aims.”

The ride, called a ‘Sportive’, has three different length rides to suit all abilities - a flat marshalled family ride about ten miles, a 50 mile intermediate ride around Bleasdale and Chipping, and a 64 mile ride going over the Trough of Bowland and Waddington Fell.

“I am looking forward to the event,” Kevin added.

“Although some pro riders who Lewis used to race with do turn up, a lot just want to support us and take on the challenge of completing the course.

“We emphasise it is not a race and people can ride as fast or as slow as they like so long as they are safe.

“It’s non-competitive and very much a social event - people usually get back to us at around 2pm but stick around for hours afterwards.”

Last years event attracted almost 300 riders and organisers are hoping theis years event will be just as much of a success.

The ride is set to take place from the UcLan Arena, where Lewis won his National Championship in 2008, on Sudnay, October 2.

More information is available on the charity website at lbtf.org.