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£35,000 raised by Acorn charity cyclists

The Acorn Charity Sponsored 100k Bike Ride took place recently raising for the second year running funds in excess of £35,000. The Acorn Bike Ride is in its ninth year and cyclists turned out in large numbers to raise funds for Acorn’s two charities – helping people with dementia and their carers in the Ripon, Wetherby and Harrogate area and for research into scleroderma at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The bike ride started at Bishop Monkton and followed a 100k circular route through Boroughbridge, Helperby, Easingwold, Sheriff Hutton, Linton on Ouse and Marton-cum-Grafton before returning to Bishop Monkton. The route was marshalled by over 50 volunteers and lunch was provided at Sheriff Hutton with tea and cake at the finishing point in Bishop Monkton. St John’s Ambulance were on hand to deal with medical emergencies, Chevin Cycles of Otley with mechanical difficulties and signage was provided by HACS, Imageco and Marsland Timber. Lunch was generously sponsored by Ultimate English, Fyffes and Greencore, and Bettys kindly donated their famous Fat Rascals for every rider completing the route.  The whole event was sponsored for the ninth consecutive year by Lights4Fun.

England footballer Danny Mills with Acorn's Louise Hanen and Jo Day
England footballer Danny Mills with Acorn’s Louise Hanen and Jo Day

The Acorn Sponsored Bike Ride began as a challenge for Acorn supporters in 2007 and has now become a very popular date in the cyclists’ calendar. Everyone is encouraged to join in from serious road cyclists to enthusiastic amateurs and a number of tandems are usually expected to complete the route. This year, 614 cyclists joined in the event raising over £35,000.

Acorn Chairman, Louise Hanen, said: We could not  run this event without our fantastic volunteers who not only marshall the event, help at the start and finish, but also bake a enormous number of excellent cakes so our cyclists are rewarded for their efforts at the end! £35,000 is a huge amount of money to raise at a single event and one which will make such a difference in the community, enabling us to support many people locally with dementia and to continue important research into scleroderma at Leeds General Infirmary.

The prize for the cyclist generating the largest amount of sponsorship money will go to David Robinson who raised over £2,200 and the team raising the most money was Cleveland Steel who raised over £3,500. Other teams represented on the day included Lentin Smith, Earthmill, Imageco and ASP Group.

Acorn's Louise Hanen with Dion Harrison, triathlete and winner of Gold  at the 2008 ITU World Long Triathlon
Acorn’s Louise Hanen with Dion Harrison, triathlete and winner of Gold at the 2008 ITU World Long Triathlon

Although the Bike Ride is not a race, individual cyclists posted some fast times despite the weather with Steve Collins reaching the finish in 3 hours and 10 minutes and the fastest lady was Julie Patmore.

The next Acorn event is the annual Jim Jackson Tennis Tournament at Ripon Tennis Centre on Sunday 31st May. This is an all-ability event for ladies’ and mixed doubles pairings and details of this event and how to enter are on the Acorn website at

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