Cyclists from around the region flocked to The Crix, in Hatfield Peverel yesterday to participate in Ride for Helen, raising £41,442 for Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, with more sponsorship still to come in. The event, which has become a flagship fundraiser for HRCC, saw record numbers registering with over 1,400 taking part.
The charity welcomed riders of all ages and abilities, with a choice of four distances, from six to 65 miles, to choose from. Those enjoying the picturesque routes included families with small children, seasoned road cyclists and even Penny Farthing riders! Back at The Crix, supporters were kept entertained with a Jazz performance from the Essex Horns, as well as various refreshment trucks including The Giggly Pig, Rossi Ice-cream, Bite Size Donuts and Little Coffee Camper. The team from Spokes were also on-hand to offer complimentary bike repairs and advice.
Prior to the event, patrons of the charity Clare Balding and Sally Gunnell, were keen to show their support for Ride for Helen by wearing and signing official t-shirts. On the day, another patron of the charity Danny Crates, took part in the 15 mile route with his family, while BBC Radio Essex presenter Sadie Nine and Gogglebox’s George Gilbey offered riders encouragement and handed out medals.
Kate Alden, Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Fundraising Manager says: “We’ve been absolutely blown away by the amount of participants that have joined us at this year’s Ride for Helen. It’s been great to see families, groups of friends, and experienced cyclists all enjoying the ride. We also feel very lucky that our patron Ian Twinley, has kindly allowed us every year to use the beautiful grounds of The Crix as a starting and finishing point. We couldn’t have organised such an amazing and successful event without the help of our great team of staff, volunteers, sponsors and supporters.”
Regular cyclist Lars Jeffries, who took part in the 65 mile route, as well as acting as a sweeper for the six mile route along with his eight-year-old nephew, says: “It’s great to be involved in an event that raises money for such a great charity. As a keen cyclist, I have taken part in various 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.”
Every participant received a medal, courtesy of Tiptree Jam, as well as refreshments from Eat Natural, Fairfields Farm Crisps, Winfresh Bananas and water donated from Essex & Suffolk Water and The Lion Inn. Four water stops were available along the longer routes, including one at the Western Arms in Witham and another at Earls Colne Recreation Club. Essex Audi sponsored the event for the fourth year running and provided support vehicles as well as goodie bags.