Wednesday, July 2, 2014
More than 500 cyclists battled the summer showers and Fen winds to raise about £6,000 for the Woodlands Cancer Centre.
Riders from as far as Liverpool and Manchester gathered on the former RAF runway at Alconbury Weald, on Sunday, for the first Two Wheels for Woodlands charity bike ride.
They were raising money for the cancer unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, where the staff are fundraising to pay for a £800,000 extension to allow them to treat more patients.
The first of the 154 cyclists set off on their 100-mile challenge at 8.30am in glorious sunshine, but by the time the 202 60-mile cyclists started at 9.30am, the winds had picked up and the first drops of rain began to fall.
Almost 120 took on the 30-mile route, while 65 people tackled the traffic-free family route around the former airbase.
There were some spills along the way, but most managed to pick themselves up to finish the event.
Simon Leher, who works at Luminus, managed to come off his bike a mile into the ride and completed the 38-mile course ... only to find out later he had broken a bone in his arm.
Some taking part were also sponsored, with a team of four cyclists – Jess Smith, Rachel Ashdown, Leigh Eeles and Rachel Harris – from Kimbolton-based Beacon Wealth Management raising £865, and Josh Wright collecting about £100 in his first 100-mile bike ride.
Miss Smith said: “We were all getting excited and nervous the morning of the event, the weather looked OK to begin with but soon changed, with torrential downpours and what seemed like 30mph winds, but we battled through.
“We only encountered one incident when I, quite embarrassingly, fell off my bike just after 10 miles but, thankfully, I had Rachel Harris for instant support and many fellow cyclists stopped to help.”
Hunts Post Editor Andy Veale, who reported for marshalling duties, said: “To see so many people support the Woodlands Cancer Centre by getting on their bikes was remarkable.
“Thanks to their hard efforts through, at times, terrible conditions we have raised a magnificent amount of money to help the Woodlands inch nearer its £800,000 target.
“All the cyclists did extremely well to complete the courses ... especially as they were a little longer than advertised!
“We would also like to thank our sponsors, the companies and volunteers, who helped us put together such a fantastic event that we hope will return, year after year.
“Hunts Post reporter Hywel Barrett also deserves a special mention for his huge contribution to organising the ride – he had worked extremely hard to make this happen.”
Karen Pryor, Woodlands Cancer Centre administrator, said: “I did the 38-mile ride myself and I just thought it was a great event.
“It was lovely. Everyone seemed to take it in good spirit and were very enthusiastic in their support for the Woodlands Centre.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their support of the Woodlands Centre, including The Hunts Post.”
For more pictures of the event, click here.