National Park opens entries to community bike ride event

7 February 2023

The North York Moors National Park Authority invites entries to its inaugural ‘Hearts and Minds’ cycle event in support of the Tom Parson’s Trust, the British Heart Foundation and the National Park Trust.

Taking place on Saturday 15 July from Sutton Bank National Park Centre, participants will take in glorious heather moorland, historic abbeys, wooded valleys and market towns. Riders can choose a 20-mile or 53-mile road route and electric bikes are welcome.

Byland Abbey Two Riders Stood credit Welcome to Yorkshire

Emma McKenzie, Events Engagement Officer for the North York Moors National Park Authority, said:

“We want people to celebrate their incredible hearts while doing something that supports physical and mental health. The distances may or may not be a challenge, but the aim is for us to ride with a sense of community while taking time to appreciate the stunning landscapes and habitats around us.”

Tom Parsons, who was 22 and from West Heslerton near Malton, died suddenly in 2016 while holidaying with friends. His family later learned that Tom had died of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscles which is sometimes caused by a virus or infection, although often the cause is not known. Since Tom’s death, his family have supported essential research into myocarditis through the British Heart Foundation, as well as the installation and maintenance of eight defibrillators in and around the Malton and Norton area.

Gillamoor Church Three Riders Sitting Bench credit Welcome to Yorkshire

British Heart Foundation Fundraising Manager for North Yorkshire and County Durham, Leya Baksh, said:

“Our work with the Tom Parsons Trust so far has been remarkable.

“The awareness and funds they have raised for myocarditis research has been incredibly important and their support has helped our researchers get closer to finding new ways to diagnose and treat the disease which sadly took Tom’s life.”

Emma McKenzie continued:

“Anyone who joins the event and receives sponsorship will be helping to support this excellent cause, as well as looking after their own heart health.”

Donations will also allow the North York Moors National Park Trust to deliver outdoor activities to help boost the health and wellbeing of local communities, including future cycle events and walks for vulnerable adults.

Entry fees are £20 for the 20-mile route and £45 for the 53-mile route. This includes parking and finishers’ medals. Places are limited to 200.

For further information, including maps of the routes, please visit

There are also opportunities for local businesses to sponsor or get involved with the event, please call 01439 772700 or email Emma on


Media contact

Nina Beadle, Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority

01439 772577

The North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952, it become Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres) the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 7.7 million visitors a year.

The National Park has two visitor centres, Danby Lodge National Park Centre and Sutton Bank National Park Centre, providing opportunities for cycling, walking, eating, picnicking, shopping, crafts and wildlife-watching. The centre in Danby also houses the Inspired by… gallery, which features regularly changing exhibitions by artists who draw their inspiration from the North York Moors.

The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families.

To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park, please visit

The Tom Parsons Trust  - Tom’s Story

Tom was a lover of rugby, horse racing, biking, and the gym, Tom was athletic, fit and healthy. His friends were a huge part of his life, as was his girlfriend Steph. He loved his job working at Smart Flo as a plumber and was a very happy 22-year-old. At the time of his sudden death, Tom was on holiday in Zante with his friends. Initially, the diagnosis was unclear, but it appeared to be a cardiac problem that was the cause of his untimely death. After several months of further investigation, the autopsy showed the cause of Tom’s death was myocarditis. Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle which causes degeneration or death of heart muscle cells. Myocarditis can be mild and cause virtually no noticeable symptoms. The most frequent symptom is chest pain. Often, myocarditis improves on its own without treatment and can lead to complete recovery. However, in some cases like Tom’s, along with 5% to 20% of other young adults, myocarditis can rapidly progress to heart failure. The real challenge is diagnosing myocarditis and the best way to treat the disease is not known. Yet we do know that for the best outcome, an accurate early diagnosis may allow for treatment which will ultimately minimize or eliminate myocarditis progression to heart dysfunction, failure and sudden death. Our fundraising efforts will enable researchers and physicians to advance development of accurate, rapid diagnostic methods and safe, effective therapies. The Trust also wanted to give something back to the local community for their support when Tom passed away. We now have purchased twelve and maintain eight defibs in and around Malton and Norton.

Please follow us on Facebook The Tom Parsons Trust.

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