The event, a key fundraiser for The Friends of Cynthia Spencer House and Macmillan Cancer Support in the county, has raised more than £250,000 since it began nine years ago with this year’s ride attracting a record-breaking 1100 cyclists.
Dylan, whose bike was recently stolen, had intended to cycle just the 5-mile route, but was so buoyed by the early morning atmosphere that he leapt onto a borrowed pink-saddled, fixed-gear bike to join the hundreds of those pedalling the 25 mile route. Meanwhile fellow club and country forward Tom Wood and coach Jim Mallinder tackled 50 miles around a gloriously sunny west Northamptonshire – a challenge laid down by fellow rider and former England cricketer Allan Lamb.
“I was only going to do the short distance because I still felt a bit battered from yesterday’s game,” explained Dylan at the finishing line “but watching all those riders doing their bit for two such great causes made me want to join them!
“It was such an amazing thing to be part of and assuming I’m not quite so bruised, I’ll definitely join the rest of the guys and do the long route next year!” he enthused.
Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley and former Generation Game hostess Isla St Clair were also on hand to cheer on the riders taking part, among them Aarron Shelton from Kettering who left his parents behind on the course to be the first 25-miler home in just under one hour and fifteen minutes. The family were cycling in memory of Aarron’s pap Peter who had passed away last December after being cared for at the hospice.
There were also three generations of one family out in force as Nancy Davies, aged 6 from Silverstone, cycled 5 miles with mum Chloe while her 63 year-old grandfather Gordon Foxton from Moreton Pinkney completed 50 miles with his friend Julian Rivers from Earls Barton.
Meanwhile Suzzi Jwanczuk from Far Cotton in Northampton, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, completed the 5-mile route in her motorised chair, supported by her husband Daniel, sister Karen and mum Linda who were each remembering family members dear to their hearts.
For Sue Bownass from the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice, the event could not have gone better; ‘Such wonderful weather, a fantastic turn out, some great support and a truly party atmosphere, it seems the gods were really smiling on us today!” she grinned as the last of the cycle-laden vehicles departed the estate car park.
“I can’t say a big enough thank you to Dylan, Tom and Jim and all those who took part, and of course to our marvellous team of volunteers, marshals, sponsors and supporters who’ve made this a tenth anniversary ride to be proud of!” she added.
It will be some before it’s known if the 2012 total of £55,000 has been bettered, but for now, riders are kindly encouraged to collect their sponsorship money as quickly as possible and deliver or send it to The Friends of Cynthia Hospice, Manfield Campus, Kettering Road, Northampton NN3 6NP, making cheques payable to ‘Cycle 4 Cynthia’.
More pictures of the ride can be viewed at www.cycle4cynthia.com Meanwhile to pledge your sponsorship or support for next year’s ride, please call Sue at the Friends on 01604 678088.