• After Roper Peckham-Cooper’s mom died in a car crash, he raised money for her favorite charities by completing a cycling tour across England at the age of 14.
  • He received the Diana Award for his work, and got to meet Prince William and Prince Harry—who also lost their mom at a young age in the same way—for lunch, where they shared their stories of loss and how they coped.
  • Now at age 29, Peckham-Cooper is cycling from New York City to San Francisco to raise money for the Diana Award charity.

    English cyclist Roper Peckham-Cooper will be riding from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge in 45 days to raise money for a charity that is close to his heart, the Diana Award.

    The award—and its charity, which goes by the same name—means a lot to him: He was honored with it at age 14, due to his fundraising work through cycling as a teen living in England.

    Now, he’s raising money to give back to the Diana Award, the foundation set up in memory of Princess Diana, which is given to young people who are making a difference in their community. With his cross-country ride, he hopes to bring attention to the mission of the charity and raise $25,000 over the course of his journey.

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    Peckham-Cooper, who now lives in New York City, set off on his 3,300-mile journey on Saturday, March 30. This coast-to-coast fundraising ride was inspired by his desire to see the country, his habit of cycling across the places he lives to tour them by bike, and his desire to give back.

    As a teen, Peckham-Cooper completed the Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling tour across England, a journey that totaled over 900 miles. He did this to raise money for his mom’s favorite charity—the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children—after she was killed in a car crash when he was just 12.

    For the fundraising work he did, as well as anti-bullying campaigns, he was honored with the Diana Award.

    As a recipient of the award, he got to meet Prince Harry and Prince William—who also lost their mom at a young age in a car crash—over lunch before the 2007 Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium, where they shared their stories of loss and how they learned to cope.

    Though they haven’t spoken since then, he has continued to do more fundraising for the Diana award, along with other similar charities, and kept in touch with the princes’ private secretaries regarding the work.

    “[The Diana Award] is a charity that is close to my heart,” Peckham-Cooper told Bicycling. “It is an award and charity that has a huge impact and empowers the future leaders of tomorrow.”

    Though he’s been cycling since he was a little boy, he has only done a few long rides—and nothing that compares to the journey he has embarked on. To train, he logged lots of miles on his trainer and went out for long rides on weekends when the weather permitted.

    He plans to take 45 days to complete the ride, with two full-day rests. He also has some shorter, 50-mile days, planned to give himself a bit of a break and time to explore.

    So far, Peckham-Cooper has raised just over $8,900 of his $25,000 goal. To follow his journey or donate you can visit his website.

    Digital Editor
    Her love of all things outdoors came from growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and her passion for running was sparked by local elementary school cross-country meets.



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