Over 180 cyclists from across Sussex and Surrey went that extra mile for hospice care pedalling an incredible 10, 40 or 60 miles on Sunday 19th July as part of St Catherine’s Hospice annual cycling challenge, The Big Road Ride.
After last minute bike checks and energy snacks, riders set off from East Grinstead’s Imberhorne School to tackle one of The Big Road Ride’s three routes and raise funds for St Catherine’s.
The family friendly 10 mile route which boasted a nature trail was popular with cyclists of all ages while seasoned cycling enthusiasts enjoyed the challenge of pedalling 40 or 60 miles through the countryside, including the Forest Way (part of the 40 mile route), Uckfield and Framfield (part of the 60 mile route). Marshals and supporters were on hand to provide food water and encouragement at feeding stations along the way and all the cyclists received a well deserved warm welcome and medal when they crossed the finish line at Imberhorne.
All the money raised from The Big Road Ride helps St Catherine’s to continue to provide free care for local people with a terminal illness as well as ongoing support for their family and friends. Every year the hospice needs to raise £5.5 million to care for its patients and families and the cyclists’ hard work in gathering sponsorship and donations will make a huge difference – £430 covers the cost of an overnight stay for a patient in the In Patient Unit, £46 pays for an hour long visit by the Practical Care Team to a patient in the comfort of their own home and £35 provides support to a bereaved relative in a bereavement counselling session.
Michaela Clements, Events Fundraiser at St Catherine’s said: “We’re so pleased so many cyclists have taken on our exciting cycling challenge to help us provide our vital care. Everyone who took part, whether they cycled 10, 40 or 60 miles, should be really proud of their achievements. It’s been a great day here in East Grinstead and our cyclists can now enjoy a well deserved rest!”
The Big Road Ride 2015 was kindly sponsored by Airport Cars Gatwick. Director James Kemp, said: “We’re very glad to make a contribution towards funding St Catherine’s continuing care by sponsoring The Big Road Ride. The support that St Catherine’s provides makes a huge difference to people with a terminal illness and those close to them.”
First finishers of the 10 mile cycle, Andy Aitken and George Aitken said: “We did it for the hospice, it’s a really good cause and between us we raised over £400.”
Cyclist, Rob Groves, completed the 60 mile route on a hand cycle despite two punctures and a broken bicycle chain. He said: “St Catherine’s is a charity very close to my heart, my father was cared for by the hospice so I decided to do this in memory of him. I also want to show that disabled riders can ride with abled and encourage others to do the same.”
If you are inspired by The Big Road Ride and want to take part in a St Catherine’s fundraising event, or make a donation to the hospice, more information on how to get involved is available on their website at www.stch.org.uk.
Please pop back to the Homepage to read more great stories by CHT…