It may have finished off the FA Cup final, seen Wimbledon whitewashed and even overcome the Olympics, but the team behind the county’s favourite annual fundraising bike ride are adamant that COVID-19 won’t have them running for cover!
Which is why, with some creative logistical tricks up their lycra sleeves, should they be needed, plans are still in place for Cycle4Cynthia – the biggest fundraiser in the calendar for Northamptonshire’s Cynthia Spencer Hospice – to take place on Sunday, 20th September.
The event, which has brought in more than £600k over the last 16 years, is a highly anticipated fixture in the diary of the hundreds of cyclists of all ages and abilities who take part each year, for whom it is a wonderful way of saying ‘thank you’ for the remarkable Hospice care given to their loved ones, and that’s why fundraising manager, John Helm, is offering some welcome words to those already keen to enter: “We’re keeping everything crossed that social distancing rules may have relaxed come the big day and, if so, we will do everything possible to ensure that riders can take part safely and are able to enjoy another fabulous day, even if we will have to throw a medal at them rather than hang it round their neck at the finishing line as we usually do!” said John.
“However, if mass gatherings are not allowed, or if cyclists would simply prefer not to assemble with others for health reasons, we are also planning a parallel virtual event, encouraging cyclists to pay their entry fee and raise sponsorship if they can and then pedal from their front door instead, which means that the spirit of the ride can still be felt right across the county!” he added.
With the cancellation of many of its fundraising activities during lockdown taking its toll on the Hospice’s financial reserves, any monies raised will be all the more vital and it is why, in whatever way it goes ahead, Cycle4Cynthia will yet again enjoy the support of Kettering’s C&D Cycles.
The bike shop’s own cycling club has entered a team into the event for a number of years and club secretary, Andy Ferguson, says that now, more than ever, is the time for those with two wheels to demonstrate their support for such an amazing cause: “We’re all really hoping that we’ll be able to gather at Lamport in September to yet again experience the wonderful camaraderie of the day, but of course it’s important to remember that it’s really a day for offering thanks to the hospice and the team for the amazing care they provide for their patients and families, so if we have to do that from our own doorsteps to stay safe, so be it” explained Andy.
“I’d therefore urge anyone with a bike to sign up regardless because, whether together or apart, I can guarantee that the warm feeling they’ll get at the end of their ride, knowing they’ve done their bit when it was most needed, will seem even more special this year!” he enthused.
Cycle4Cynthia 2020, which is again being sponsored by leading commercial law firm EMW, will take place on Sunday 20th September at Lamport Hall, subject to the latest social distancing rules.
Proceeds from the ride, which this year will offer its 25 and 50 mile routes only, will help to fund not only the Hospice’s specialist end-of-life palliative care for its patients and vital support for their families, but also its Wellbeing service, which aims to help those with a life-limiting illness to live their life as fully as they can by helping to maintain their physical function and independence for as long as possible.
Entry is £15 for adults, £7.50 for children and £35 for families and riders are politely advised that, in the event of the centralised event at Lamport being cancelled, entry fees will not be returned and considered a generous donation to the Hospice.
To enter online, or for more about the history of the event, please visit www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk while you can keep up to date with latest developments, based on government guidelines, by liking the ride’s and Hospice’s pages on Facebook.
Meanwhile for further information, including details of the various ways in which you can support the Hospice during these challenging times, please call the fundraising team on 01604 973340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org