A CYCLIST who tackled a monster ride in memory of his beloved grandad has admitted being stunned after raising nearly seven times his target amount.

Lee Kidger took on a 1,000-kilometre trek from Derbyshire to north Essex and hoped to raise £1,000 for the Stroke Association and Colchester's Foxburrow Grange care home, in Ypres Road.

Instead, his total stands at a whopping £6,600... and is still rising.

Mr Kidger's grandad, Ken Bibby, died in April, having suffered a stroke in December.

"It shows what people thought of grandad and how many people he touched in his life," said the 31-year-old, who grew up in Colchester.

"I did it for him because he was hugely influential in my life, spending hundreds of hours taking me to sporting events or sitting in the stands watching me play football.

"He taught me so much that I've taken into my adult life.

"He'd do anything for anyone – and gave up so much to support his family with the things they wanted to do.

"He suffered a stroke last year and we could see the effect it had both on him and us, as a family.

"That's why I wanted to take on this challenge, to raise funds and awareness to help make sure other families get help in the future.

"I planned to raise £1,000 and the running total, with Gift Aid, is now over £6,600.

"I’m shocked by the generosity of everyone that's donated, especially given what's going on with the pandemic.

"It really is a feelgood story in a world that's constantly striving to kick you when you're down.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to raise this amount and I hope it spreads knowledge of how a stroke can affect the whole family."

Mr Kidger, who works for Raleigh UK, started his challenge on August 16 and rode just over 1,000km - approximately 621 miles - in seven days, starting with routes around where he lives in Derbyshire.

He then travelled to Colchester, before spending time cycling in north Essex.

En route, he visited some of the places that remind him of his grandad and finished at his nan and grandad's former home in Harsnett Road, Colchester.

The happy couple lived there for more than 60 years.

"I spent approximately 45 hours on the bike and covered 1,009km in seven days," said Mr Kidger, who is married to Freya.

"I definitely wanted to get off it afterwards!

"Although I'm a keen cyclist, I'd never tackled anything of that magnitude before.

"In 2018, I rode under that total mileage across the whole year.

"Admittedly, there were factors that meant I couldn’t ride as much as I would have liked but it still gives some context.

"I’ve ridden 170 miles in a day before but this was more about the endurance of doing seven days straight at around 100 miles a day.

"Grandad would probably think I’m mad but I like to think he would be proud.

"I rode in a red cycling jersey inspired by his favourite football club, Liverpool.

"I'm a Chelsea fan so I'm sure he'd be laughing. I'd only do it for him!"

To make a donation, head to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ride1000-raise1000