The great revival in cycling over the last few years can be put down to many causes. There is of course the inspiration of the success of British cyclists in international events right up to the Olympics.
Some people take up cycling for their health, some for the company and some to save on petrol costs. And many, many more are now using their new pastime as an efficient means to raise money for charity – more appealing to many than the jumble sale.
Next Sunday (June 26) sees the annual Dartmoor Classic, a non-commercial Cyclosportive event organised by the mid-Devon cycling club. And one of the teams taking part comes from the Pewsey Vale.
They call themselves the Fat Lads and are raising money in memory of two local people who died recently from cancer. Patrick Walmsley was a popular and respected member of the local community who had been Chairman of Woodborough parish council and a regular player with the Wilcot cricket club’s Sunday side.
Sue Cordel lived in West Lavington for fifteen years, worked locally as a solicitor for Wincanton Logistics in Chippenham and was an active supporter of the Avonvale pony club.
The ten strong team (six of them are pictured left) of Patrick and Sue’s friends will be tackling the gruelling 65 mile circuit along the twisting lanes and over the exposed hills of Dartmoor and north Devon. They won’t be lonely: the event has 2,500 entrants from afar afield as Merseyside, the Metropolitan Police Cycle Club and Shropshire.
There’s also a team from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Cycling Association. But they’re doing the even more daunting 106 mile circuit.
The Pewsey Vale team has been in serious training since the beginning of the year. One of the cyclists, David Rees who is a director at Pewsey-based Innecto Reward Consulting, finished the course last year in six hours and fourteen minutes.
David says: “We are really just a bunch of guys in our 40s and 50s who like beer and chips – so this event is a challenge. But we’re doing it for a very good cause.”
“The Prospect Hospice and the Dorothy House Hospice were a great support to Patrick, Sue and their families and we and to help provide them both, as well as Cancer Research, with funds to continue their excellent work.”
The Pewsey Vale team aims to raise £2,500 through sponsorship. To sponsor them and find out more about the event go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FatLadsDoingitforPatrick
You can find details of other cycling events for charity in the What’s On section of Marlborough News Online.