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Almost 1,000 cyclists from around the county and beyond, gathered at the The Crix in Hatfield Peverel on Sunday 13th May to take part in Ride for Helen 2018, raising over £30,000 for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity!

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The charity welcomed riders of all ages and abilities, with a choice of cycling routes to suit all capabilities; 6 miles, 15 miles, 35 miles, 65 miles and NEW 100 miles. Those enjoying the beautiful countryside routes included families with small children, seasoned road cyclists and even a family of Penny Farthing riders!

Back at The Crix, supporters were kept entertained by local radio station Saint FM 94.7 represented by Lou Blackwell, as well as various refreshment trucks including Scoff & Sip, Cees Cees Catering and Cafe2u. The team from Spokes were also on-hand to offer complimentary bike repairs and advice.

BBC Essex Radio presenter Sadie Nine took part in the 6 mile route and alongside husband Al, and doggies Janice and Tiger-Lilly, also helped our fantastic volunteers with the goody bag packing and medals. Every participant received a medal and sparkling drink courtesy of Wilkin & Sons, as well as refreshments and bike seat covers from Eat Natural.

Four water stops were available along the longer routes, including one at the Hare & Hounds in Layer Bretton, the Western Arms in Silver End and another at Earls Colne Recreation Club. Essex Audi sponsored the event for the fifth year running and provided support vehicles as well as goodie bags.

Duncan Bradford, 40 from Danbury took part in the 6 mile route with daughters Ella, 7 and Lily 9; “Last year I took part in the 65 mile route and had such a fantastic time I wanted to come back again this year with the girls. The 6 mile route was a perfect distance and what with it being such a family friendly event and supporting a local charity, we all had a brilliant time.”

Freddie Joslin, 12 from Heybridge, amazingly completed the 35 mile route, being one of the youngest to take part in the distance. “I felt really tired once I’d completed the route but also a huge sense of achievement – I think I’m going to flop out on the sofa for the rest of the day! It’s great to support the charity while also doing something fun at the same time.”

Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Fundraising Manager Kate Alden said: “What a fantastic turnout with almost 1,000 supporters attending our annual Ride for Helen raising over £30,000 for the charity! The rain held off, the winds were light and the sun shone in the afternoon – it was perfect cycling conditions for our riders.

We feel very lucky that our patron Ian Twinley, has kindly allowed us to use the beautiful grounds of The Crix in Hatfield Peverel as a starting and finishing point every year. I’d like to thank Essex Audi for the use of their vehicles as recovery cars, Bishops Stortford Camera Club for photographing the event, Wilkin & Sons for providing the medals, drinks and snacks for everyone taking part and Winfresh for donating bananas. Also thanks to The Lion at Boreham for providing essential water, Spokes Cycle Care and Repair in Chelmsford for their services and repairs and Eat Natural for donating their snack bars and bike seat covers.

We couldn’t organise such an amazing and positive event without the help of our dedicated team of volunteers, staff, sponsors and supporters so thank you everyone for making the day so successful.”