Bike riders beat storm for charity

Participants braved rain to take part in this year's Park 2 Park Bike Ride at Rother Valley Country Park
Participants braved rain to take part in this year's Park 2 Park Bike Ride at Rother Valley Country Park
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Getting soaked to the skin did little to deter an army of brave cyclists on a mission to raise money for charity.

Almost 200 riders braved stormy weather to show their support for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Organisers expected a dismal turnout for the annual Park 2 Park Bike Ride, a 21.5-mile route through Rother Valley Country Park.

But nearly all of those who signed up - from the age of six to over 60 - showed up despite the pouring rain and raised £19,000 for the charity.

Aubrey Hill, founder of the Park 2 Park Bike Ride, said: “The forecast was a severe weather alert with gale force winds and heavy rain and the forecasters were not wrong.

“The conditions proved a real challenge for many, especially those with little experience.

“Many events were cancelled and this shows the determination and resolve of those taking part who were totally focused on their fundraising effort for the hospice.

“Three of the four tents and gazebos used to stage the event succumbed to gusts which snapped their poles like matchsticks and turned them into a mass of scrap steel and canvas.

“I was astounded when it became apparent that virtually all of the cyclists had arrived and were eager to get the job done.

“There were no quitters in this bunch.”

Mr Hill went ahead with a planned barbecue to feed hungry participants.

He said: “I would like to thank Parkgate Mobility Group who are the event’s main sponsor and the magnificent staff and volunteers at Bluebell Wood.”