Sunday 3rd May saw 838 cyclists saddle up to support The J’s Hospice at this year’s Pedal for the J’s charity cycle ride in Admirals Park, Chelmsford.
The event, now in its sixth successful year, attracted cyclists from across Essex and beyond, raising a fantastic £30,000 for The J’s Hospice, after costs.
In the usual changeable springtime weather, the cyclists undertook their choice of challenges; 15, 35 or 50-mile circular routes, which took them through the outlying villages and countryside north-east of Chelmsford and as far as Hatfield Heath and the Rodings.
Though the forecast threatened rain on the day, none of The J’s supporters were put off and a near-perfect attendance was recorded for all pre-registered riders, as well as the hundreds of cyclists who registered on the day itself.
People of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds took part in Pedal for The J's including families, individuals and groups of friends, as well as seasoned cyclists from local cycling clubs.
Keen cyclist Steve Cook (pictured right) completed the 50 mile route three times – clocking up 150 miles in only eight and a half hours!
One tired cyclist said: 'We had a fantastic day out- it really was fun for our whole family thanks to the 15 mile option! We will definitely be doing ‘Pedal’ again next year – thanks to The J’s for organising it.'
Rob Gibbons, 50, a Maldon native, takes part every year with his wife Annie and a group of seven friends: 'Our "biker gang" wouldn’t miss Pedal – it’s part of our Spring calendar! The 50 mile route really tests your stamina – but we’re doing the 15 mile route this year to accommodate the wife!'
Many cyclists had taken part in the event in previous years on behalf of The J's Hospice and all committed to raising funds to improve the lives of young adults across Essex with life limiting and life threatening conditions.
Pedal is a very family-oriented day – one of the very youngest riders on the day was also one of the very best fundraisers – 4-year-old Will Oakley raised a very impressive £400 online (in his own words) “I am cycling 15 miles for The J’s Hospice because I hope it will help some folks”.
The top fundraiser is luxury gifts and designer homeware company Amara, with staff and their families taking part and raising over £6,000 in sponsorship!
Martin Day of Heart FM’s Breakfast Show took part in the 50 mile route with his son, at the on-air urging of Su Harrison. He freely admitted to taking part ‘against doctor’s orders’ as he suffers from ‘terminal laziness’, however he managed to raise over a thousand pounds in sponsorship thanks to his enthusiastic and inspired listeners.
Beaulieu, the exciting new development underway on the outskirts of Chelmsford City, was the main headline sponsor of the day. Andrew Carrington, Managing Director of Strategic Land at Countryside said:
'Pedal for the J’s was a huge success as always, and it was great to see the local community getting involved and cheering everyone on. We were delighted to be sponsoring this year’s event, and very proud of our team of keen cyclists for both their pedalling and fundraising efforts.
'An event like the Pedal for the J’s is great way to motivate and encourage people to get active and support their community and the fantastic work of The J’s Hospice. We are proud to be continuing our support of the hospice, with our sponsorship of the Chelmsford Marathon later in the year.'
The J's say a big thank you to everyone who took part in the ride and to the wonderful volunteers who helped make it possible. Our grateful thanks also go to our main sponsor Beaulieu Chelmsford and to the Essex Land Rover Club, Cycles UK, Heart FM, Watersoft, Winfresh, Eat Natural, Cafe2U, Henny Rare breeds and Gelato Italia for their generous support.
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