Record breaking year as 989 riders take to the roads
As the Tour de France commenced in Yorkshire at the weekend to record numbers of spectators, a record 989 cyclists converged in Farnham’s Waggon car park on Sunday 6th July for the start of this year’s Farnham Charity Bike Ride.
The event, which is organised by volunteers from Farnham Round Table and St Andrew’s Infants School, is expected to have raised well over £20,000 for local good causes, taking the event’s total to over £105,000 since it began in 2009.
What a fabulous day! We were blown away by the response this year, and also the fantastic feedback we’ve had from the cyclists since the event.
Great atmosphere at the Start
Many riders come back year after year, and travel some distance to take part.
It’s regarded as a really friendly cycling event, appealing to all sorts of people, and we’re extremely proud of this.
As in the previous years the atmosphere at the start was a combination of excitement and anticipation with event sponsor East Street Cycles on hand to help with last minute bicycle problems, and local charities provided early morning refreshments.
A live commentary was provided by Farnham Round Table member Richard Bousfield, and Marie Coburn from Farnham Nuffield Health Centre led a pre-ride warm up.
Then at 8:45am the event was officially started by Farnham Town Council Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jill Hargreaves.
The cyclists choose between 16, 25 or 50 miles routes through the Surrey countryside to the north and west of Farnham raising money for a variety of causes.
More and more children taking part
This year 161 cyclists under the age of 16 took part.
The number of children participating in the event with their parents is increasing each year, and children can register for free with their parents.
It’s great to think we are helping local families discover cycling and develop their confidence to explore the local area.
Bigger welcome at the Finish
Tim Stemp was the first cyclist to return having completed the 16 mile route in less than an hour.
When the riders returned to Waggon Yard they were presented with a finisher’s medal by children from St Andrew’s Infant School and, new for this year, they could treat themselves to well-earned food, drinks and ice-creams.
Event founder Andy Taylor said: “On behalf of the team, I’d like to say a big thank you to the volunteers who help us out on the day, we simply couldn’t put on the event without them all, as well as our long term sponsors East Street Cycles and Nuffield Health.
“One of the best features of our event is the route marshals who are on hand to support the cyclists, and this year many local charities and groups stepped forward to help us out with this important job, for which we are very grateful.”
Preparations are already under way for next year’s event which will take place on Sunday 5th July, 2015.