More than 500 people saddled up for the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s fifth annual Chilterns Cycle Challenge yesterday.
It is hoped the cyclists will raise around £40,000 for the charity which supports local people who have cancer and other life-limiting illness.
Participants – who had the choice of three different routes, 75 miles, 35 miles and a family-friendly cycle of 10k – rode through the beautiful Chiltern countryside after setting off from Kingsbury Square in Aylesbury.
Simon Sheffield and his son, Matthew, six, of Aylesbury, helped raise £520 by cycling the 10k route.
Mr Sheffield said: “We know lots of people who have been affected by cancer and the support services that the charity offers are of great interest to me.
“I like to go out with my son cycling and we hadn’t done this before, so thought it would be good fun.”
Kathryn Thomey and her son Nathaniel, seven, who live in Aylesbury, decided to join the Chilterns Cycle Challenge as part of Kathryn’s preparation for the charity’s next fundraising event – the RAF Halton Sprint Triathlon which takes place on Sunday 3 May.
Mrs Thomey said: “Nathaniel saw the challenge advertised and thought it would be a fun event for us to do together.
“He found out all the details and signed us up. I hope we can make it an annual thing for us to do as it has been a great day.”
George and Michelle Dance, who live in Princes Risborough, took part in the 10k route in memory of Michelle’s step father, who died from cancer in 2013.
Michelle’s mum Denise Farmer also took part. She said: “Rennie Grove nurses helped to make it possible for him to stay at home while he was ill and for him to be at home when he died. #
“We took part in last year’s Chilterns Three Peaks Challenge which was excellent and we plan to do that again this year too.”
David Chang and his son Daniel, seven, who live in Cheddington and their friends Mark Broun and daughter Georgia, eight, from Aylesbury, also took part in the 10k challenge.
Mr Chang said: “This is a great distance for a family to do and it helps build the confidence of children who enjoy cycling.
“I have done the longer course before and now it is great to be able to take part in this distance with my son.”
Frances Bartlett and Sarah Squirrell from Aylesbury took on the 35 mile route for the second year running with the aim of completing the course in a faster time this year.
They said: “We did find it tough last year, but it is good to combine fitness with the fun element of taking part in an event and we hope to be a bit quicker this year.”
Gillian Barnett, director of fundraising and marketing at the charity, said: “We would like to thank everyone who took part in yesterday’s event as well as all our fantastic volunteers who gave their time to help ensure it went so smoothly.
“Raising £40,000 is an amazing achievement – £32,000 helps fund one of our specialist hospice at home nurses for a year so this money really will help make a difference to people in our community.”
If you have been inspired to take part in a cycle challenge, Rennie Grove Hospice Care has two events coming up that might be of interest.
The charity has two places at the 100-mile Prudential Ride London on August 2, and in return for the place participants are asked to gain a minimum of £500 sponsorship for Rennie Grove.
To find out more and register an interest, please call Jo Hunt before April 20 on 01442 820720.
From September 17 to 20, the charity has organised a cycle challenge from St Albans to the Isle of Wight and back. T
The ride will be captained by former FIFA referee, who is a patron of the charity. For more details contact Colin Ivey on 01442 820731.