THE team behind a York charity bike ride is hoping for a Tour de France inspired bumper event this year with as many as 1000 cyclists taking to North Yorkshire’s roads to raise money.
Entries opened for the Heart of York bike ride today and the event will go ahead for the third time on Sunday, September 7 raising cash for the British Heart Foundation.
The ride offers two different routes covering either 22 or 40 miles, and last year saw 330 people get on their bikes and raise £15,000.
Among them was a team from Pryers Solicitors took on the challenge and won the top team fundraiser accolade.
Solicitor Amy Crundwell raised the team from among her colleagues as heart disease research is a cause close to her heart.
She said: “Both my dad and my brother have had heart attacks. My brother was only 21, he’s an athlete and just pushed himself too far, and my dad had his heart attack at mile 51 of a 60 mile bike ride.”
They enjoyed the ride so much last year that the whole team will be signing up again this year, and Amy wants to persuade more colleagues to join them.
Event organiser Phil McMahon said they want all people of all abilities to join in.
“With the Tour de France this year we are hoping for 1000 people signing up.
“There are a lot of big cycle events out there of 60 or 70 miles focused on athletes, but this is a shorter ride to encourage anybody to join in.”
The two routes take in some of country’s most scenic countryside with the shorter ride on a completely flat route supported by enthusiastic volunteers, and the longer taking in the challenging but beautiful hills around Castle Howard, he added.
“At the first event the last person across the line was a lady called Wendy Langham, who had had a heart transplant the year before. The next year a lot of people who had heart conditions did the 22 mile ride, and it was great to see people rehabilitating taking part.”
All the cash raised goes towards the Mending Broken Hearts appeal supporting research into repairing heart muscles after cardiac arrests.
Individual cyclists and teams of five can register online at www.bhf.org.uk/heartofyorkbikeride.