On Sunday, 14th September 143 cyclists set out on a ride to raise money for North West Air Ambulances. These cycling events, or sportives, happen regularly across the country. But this one was different.
“Share The Road” was a local event, organised by volunteers from Lancashire Cycle Link who worked around the clock to ensure everything went smoothly and safely.
There was no big-name branding, just a local sponsor, Brite-Ride, based in the Ribble Valley, and a borrowed inflatable archway from Epic Events. The committee’s family members were roped in to help marshal the route, staff the feed stations and get up early to put out the signs.Even the flapjacks to fuel the riders were handmade by Steve and Debbie Kilner. One member, Phil, had a road sweeper and went out the day before the clear the roads of debris to minimise punctures!
There were two routes on offer. 110 completed Le Tour of 68 miles and 33 finished the shorter 43 mile Le Giro. All finishers received a goodie pack for their efforts.
In total, over £4000 was raised for North West Air Ambulance. This is the second year for the home-grown sportive, and took six months of planning.
Joanne Adams was one of the committee of volunteers. She says, “Last year we only had three committee members organising the whole thing. This year we were fortunate enough to have a committee of ten, each bringing something special to the mix when it came to organising the event. It not only made it easier, but it allowed us to go bigger than we ever dreamed and we’re all thrilled with the result. We all worked very hard to make sure that the day would be a success, that we would raise lots of money for NWAA and that Lancashire cyclists would have a big smile on their face when they crossed the finish line. We’re already feeling very excited about Share The Road 2015.”
The event was not timed; the riders were out to enjoy the best scenery that Lancashire has to offer. “I thought it was an excellent route that showcased some great views and villages within the Ribble Valley and surrounding area,” says Sean Owens, who rode the longer route. “The route was challenging but unlike some other sportives I’ve ridden it would be manageable by anyone (with a little training). It did Lancashire proud!”
Angie Feehan found it personally very emotional. She says, “I just wanted to raise as much for NWAA after they played their part in trying to revive my partner on Pendle Hill last December.” So far she has raised £1,381.31 in memory of her partner.
Lancashire Cycle Link is an informal, free Facebook group which brings together all types of cyclists across the region. Find them here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/126682247491640/