Wheelie Supportive Cyclists take part in Ride for Helen 2018!

Almost 1,000 cyclists from around the county and beyond, gathered at the The Crix in Hatfield Peverel yesterday (Sunday 13th May) to take part in Ride for Helen 2018, raising over £30,000 for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity!

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The annual bike ride, now in its fifth year, has become a firm favourite on the Essex Sporting calendar, with participant ages ranging from the youngest at 4 years old and the oldest at 76.

The charity welcomed riders of all ages and abilities, with a choice of cycling routes to suit all capabilities; 6 miles, 15 miles, 35 miles, 65 miles and NEW 100 miles. Those enjoying the beautiful countryside routes included families with small children, seasoned road cyclists and even a family of Penny Farthing riders!

Back at The Crix, supporters were kept entertained by local radio station Saint FM 94.7 represented by Lou Blackwell, as well as various refreshment trucks including Scoff & Sip, Cees Cees Catering and Cafe2u. The team from Spokes were also on-hand to offer complimentary bike repairs and advice.

BBC Essex Radio presenter Sadie Nine took part in the 6 mile route and alongside husband Al, and doggies Janice and Tiger-Lilly, also helped our fantastic volunteers with the goody bag packing and medals. Every participant received a medal and sparkling drink courtesy of Wilkin & Sons, as well as refreshments and bike seat covers from Eat Natural.

Four water stops were available along the longer routes, including one at the Hare & Hounds in Layer Bretton, the Western Arms in Silver End and another at Earls Colne Recreation Club. Essex Audi sponsored the event for the fifth year running and provided support vehicles as well as goodie bags.

Duncan Bradford, 40 from Danbury took part in the 6 mile route with daughters Ella, 7 and Lily 9; “Last year I took part in the 65 mile route and had such a fantastic time I wanted to come back again this year with the girls. The 6 mile route was a perfect distance and what with it being such a family friendly event and supporting a local charity, we all had a brilliant time.”

Freddie Joslin, 12 from Heybridge, amazingly completed the 35 mile route, being one of the youngest to take part in the distance. “I felt really tired once I’d completed the route but also a huge sense of achievement – I think I’m going to flop out on the sofa for the rest of the day! It’s great to support the charity while also doing something fun at the same time.”

Marrianne Irving, 45 from Little Waltham, was one of the many volunteers giving up their time to support the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity; “In 2010 I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and was treated at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford. The HRCC Support Centre at Rochelle House in Chelmsford helped me so much during a very scary time in my life. I received reflexology treatments and counselling from the team there and the support was invaluable to my recovery. To give something back to this incredible charity I regularly volunteer at their events – Ride for Helen is one of my favourites and I am very proud to help out on the day.”

Regular cyclist Kevin Smith, 54 from Dunmow took part in the 65 mile route; “As a keen cyclist, I have taken part in various cycle rides in the past and I have to say that the organisation of Ride for Helen has been fantastic with the routes well mapped-out and clearly signed. This year, there is a much more important reason for me to be raising money; my mum has in the last few weeks been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, with only a short time to live; it’s come as a huge shock as you can imagine. So this year I have decided to raise money to help fight cancer for those where the illness can still be treated and give valuable time to other families in need. We’ve already raised £360 with more sponsorship money still to come.”

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Fundraising Manager Kate Alden said: “What a fantastic turnout with almost 1,000 supporters attending our annual Ride for Helen raising over £30,000 for the charity! The rain held off, the winds were light and the sun shone in the afternoon – it was perfect cycling conditions for our riders.

We feel very lucky that our patron Ian Twinley, has kindly allowed us to use the beautiful grounds of The Crix in Hatfield Peverel as a starting and finishing point every year. I’d like to thank Essex Audi for the use of their vehicles as recovery cars, Bishops Stortford Camera Club for photographing the event, Wilkin & Sons for providing the medals, drinks and snacks for everyone taking part and Winfresh for donating bananas. Also thanks to The Lion at Boreham for providing essential water, Spokes Cycle Care and Repair in Chelmsford for their services and repairs and Eat Natural for donating their snack bars and bike seat covers.

We couldn’t organise such an amazing and positive event without the help of our dedicated team of volunteers, staff, sponsors and supporters so thank you everyone for making the day so successful.”

The Helen Rollason Cancer Charity is dedicated to championing quality of life for everyone living with or affected by Cancer through the provision of free access support centres, complementary therapies, information and advice and supporting clinical trials. If you’d like to find out more about the charity call 01245 380719 or email fundraising@helenrollason.org.uk