The Acorn Charity Sponsored 100k Bike Ride took place in dismal weather conditions but still raised a hefty £35,000.
The Acorn Bike Ride is in its eighth 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 and Imageco.
Lunch was generously sponsored by Tesco, 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 eighth consecutive year by Lights4Fun.
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, 586 cyclists joined in the event in spite of wet and windy weather which made conditions less than ideal.
Acorn Chairman, Louise Hanen, said: We were concerned that the weather might dampen the enthusiasm of some of our cyclists but they didn’t let us down, turning up in droves and completing the course despite the adverse weather conditions.
We could not, of course, run this event without our fantastic volunteers who not only marshall the event, help at the start and finish, but also bake a huge 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.
There were prizes for the two cyclists generating the largest amount of sponsorship money who will receive a ladies’ or gents’ mountain bike which has generously been donated by Chevin Cycles of Otley and Wetherby Bike Shack. As soon as all the sponsorship money has been collected, these will be presented. Photographs of the event are on the Acorn Charity Facebook page.
Although the Bike Ride is not a race, individual cyclists posted some fast times despite the weather with Andrew Bond reaching the finish in 3 hours and 10 minutes and the fastest ladies were Steph Riley and Maureen Maughan in 3 hours and 55 minutes. Two cyclists, Gary Hatch and Chris Burt also completed the route twice!
This year was the first time the charity had produced its own cycle tops generously sponsored by Lights4Fun, Knight Frank, tilesandmosaics.co.uk, Springfield Healthcare and Ultimate English.
The cycle tops were especially manufactured by the UK’s leading cycle clothing brand Altura and are available on the Acorn website.
The next Acorn event is the annual Jim Jackson Tennis Tournament at Ripon Tennis Centre on Sunday 1st June. 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 www.acorncharity.org.uk