A bike enthusiast has completed a staggering 75 miles in drag to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

David Godden, from Abercrave, near Ystradgynlais, took on the charity challenge across two days on September 4 and 5, wearing a frock, fascinator and wig, all for a good cause.

David, who works for the Penderyn Distillery, said: "I was born with a heart condition called a 'Patent Foramen Ovale' which is very common, usually goes unnoticed and doesn’t generally affect those with it.

“However, after collapsing at work one day doctors discovered my heart had become enlarged and thickened showing all the symptoms of 'Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy' which coupled with the PFO meant more blood was flowing through the centre of my heart rather than around it, as it should do.

“After many procedures over the course of around four years and with the British Heart Foundation’s help I am now healthy again and able to carry on the sport of cycling I love so much, and this is why I chose to complete this charity challenge, combining my love of mountain biking and raising money for a charity close to my heart, pardon the pun!”

David undertook Europe's biggest charity mountain bike event, the BHF London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride with his friend Dan Akers.

The pair set a fundraising target of £1,000 with a promise to ride the 75 miles in dresses.

David said his diagnosis meant he’d had to put his love of the sport on hold. He added: “Giving up competitive cycling was crushing. It nearly broke me. I was told a month before, that I was on top of my game. I was the champion of my region, so being told that and then having to give up the sport was devastating.




"I’d put in so much hard work. My mates would be out drinking, while I was training and racing. I had all these aspirations and then had them ripped away.

"I really struggled for the first year. I almost shut down. I didn’t tell my family how difficult I was finding it. My mum still doesn’t know how bad it was as I can’t bring myself to tell her.

“Luckily, I have some really good friends. I confided in my friend Dan. He had lost his father to a heart condition. I remember talking to him and both of us just sitting together crying. After that we really lent on each other. Dan and another of my friends were real rocks and helped me through it."




Reflecting on the challenge, David said: “75 miles is longer than I would normally cycle now. We did have food stops to regroup and refuel and you could take it at your own pace. There were some big climbs, but you could come down the other side.

“We can't thank the staff, organisers, volunteers and marshals that help make this happen enough.

“We also want to send a massive thank you to everyone who sponsored us and raised a massive £1062 - which will help do so much to both help, and potentially save peoples’ lives.

David added, “We've both been affected by heart conditions, and many more people and families are affected by them every day - that's why we're hoping to raise money to fund vital research to literally stop the heartache many people go through. There is still so much we need to learn about these complex organs and systems in which they work and that all takes funding, and knowing we've helped that even if only a small way, that that makes us feel very happy, and very proud.”

If you would like to sponsor David and Dan visit their Just Giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/team/Frocking-hell