WHILE spending his last 10 weeks in Queen Margaret Hospice battling a brain tumour, Saline man Gary Conner expressed his hope of being able to raise money for them through a charity cycle.

Sadly, he died in December at the age of 51 and Gary's loved ones are now getting on their bikes to carry out his wish.

Cycling as part of Dunfermline Cycling Club's Tour of the Kingdom sportive event on May 25, wife Kirsteen and other family members and friends will take on the 33-mile route in Gary's memory.

Kirsteen said they were keen to give something back so other families could receive the same support which they did.

"The care he got at the hospice was amazing," she said. "When he went in on the Friday night, we were told they didn't think he would last the weekend and he was in for 10 weeks. They are amazing people and were amazing with Gary and with us.

"Gary had talked about doing a cycle to raise money when he got out. I don't know if he spoke like that for my benefit or if he thought he was coming out but he wanted to raise money.

"After he died and things settled down, we thought we needed to do this as it was something he really wanted."

Gary, a machine operator at Havelock International in Kirkcaldy, was a member of Dunfermline Cycling Club and Kirsteen was delighted when her and close friend Rachel Rogers were told they could do their event as part of the organisation's sportive.

"I think there will be around 15 of us. Obviously a lot of people are doing it as it is the cycling club's sportive so there will be a lot of people cycling but we will be doing it specifically for the hospice," Kirsteen explained.

"There's quite a few of us where I work at Inglis Vets in Cowdenbeath, and at the other Inglis Vets, so we have been going out at weekends to prepare and family and friends are taking part as well."

Dunfermline Cycling Club chairperson Scott Hutchinson said they didn’t need to think twice about dedicating the Sportive to Gary’s memory.

"Most people know of someone who have been affected by cancer so when we lost a fellow club member we wanted to help and are delighted to welcome Gary’s friends and family to ride with us," he added.

Staff nurse at Queen Margaret Hospice, Ed Cairns, said he was delighted that the hospice is to benefit from the event.

"Gary was a great patient who loved cycling and many of us had a soft spot for him," he said. "We had lots of laughs and he’ll be proud of everyone for carrying out his wish, especially with his local cycling club.”

Anyone wanting to help boost fundraising can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cycleforgary.

Spaces are still available on the cycle – where participants can choose to do a 33-, 70- or 103-mile route – and more details can be obtained by visiting www.dunfermlinecc/sportive.