Hundreds ride for Eric at first cycling safety event

Eric Codling with his wife Karen and their daughters Grace, 12, and Eve, nine.
Eric Codling with his wife Karen and their daughters Grace, 12, and Eve, nine.
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Hundreds of riders used pedal power to raise awareness about cycling safety and remember a much-loved Sheffield dad who was killed when he was knocked from his bike by a drink driver.

Around 400 cyclists took part in the inaugural Ride for Eric event, to celebrate the life of Sheffield dad-of-two Eric Codling.

Eric, aged 55, from Millhouses, was killed when he was knocked off his bike by 26-year-old drink driver Emma Egan, on Whirlowdale Road, Whirlow, last November.

On Sunday, cyclists gathered in the autumn sunshine to honour his memory.

Karen Codling, Eric’s wife, told The Star: “I just want to say a massive thank you to everybody who took part.

“It was a staggering turnout and the atmosphere was brilliant.

“It was definitely a family event.”

Karen said it was an emotional day for her and daughters Eve and Grace.

She said: “The announcer was telling everyone who had crossed the line that they had just ridden for Eric.

“But when Eve finished the six kilometres and he said: ‘You’ve just ridden for Daddy’, that set me off.”

The cyclists set off from Abbeydale Sports Centre on Abbeydale Road and were given the choice of three routes of differing lengths - 6k, 16k and 50k.

Dozens of families took part in the event, cycling together, and funds were raised for Cavendish Cancer Care.

All of the routes passed a ghost bike, painted white, decorated with a bouquet of flowers and placed at the spot where Eric lost his life, in order to highlight the need for safe cycling.

Eric worked as a painter and decorator for Ponsford furniture stores, and had been married to Karen for 15 years.

The sports-mad Middlesborough FC fan went running and cycling most days, and was on his regular Sunday morning ride when he was killed.

Drunk driver Egan, from Dewsbury, was jailed for four years at Sheffield Crown Court in July after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

She was hurtling at around 70mph in pursuit of her boyfriend who had just jilted her, when her car hit Eric.

n For more pictures from Ride for Eric see our People supplement on Monday.