Virtual Evesham Cyclefest hits top gear for charity - The Evesham Observer

Virtual Evesham Cyclefest hits top gear for charity

Evesham Editorial 3rd Nov, 2020   0

CYCLE Evesham Vale have been organising the Evesham Cyclefest for six years – attracting hundreds of cyclists from around the region to the roads in the Vale of Evesham for the annual celebration of cycling.

Andy Hale enjoyed Cyclefest.

In 2020 the pandemic meant they could not hold the event in its usual format, but they were still keen to encourage people to get out on their bikes and also raise funds for local charities, so this year they arranged a Virtual Evesham Cyclefest.

There were four different routes offered, ranging from a leisurely 16 miles out to Broadway up to the challenging 103-mile Evesham Escapade which included some testing climbs on to the Cotswolds.

Linzi Lewis-Painter with a selfie.

Once entered, cyclists could download a map and ride the route of their choice at a time and day which suited them between August and the end of October.

Once they had completed their ride, they could submit their time which was published on the Cycle Evesham Vale website and they were rewarded with a medal and certificate.

Some 72 people took part in the event, with 77 results submitted, giving a total distance ridden of 3,310 miles.

Some cyclists decided to take on more than one route, with James Banner managing to complete all four!

There was some great feedback including one rider who commented: “This was my first sportive after purchasing my first road bike this summer aged 48.

“I really enjoyed the route. Thanks for organising it. I’ll be back next year when hopefully we can all ride together again.”

All profits from the event will be donated to support two local charities. The first is Evesham & District Mental Health Support Services – an independent mental health charity passionate about providing a better life for people who experience mental distress.

Andrew Collins in action.

The second is Midlands Air Ambulance Charity which is responsible for funding and operating three air ambulances serving the communities of six Midlands counties and two critical care cars in Birmingham and the Black Country and Worcestershire.

One of the organisers was Kirsty McGaul who was delighted with the popularity of the event. She said: “We wanted to offer some motivation for people to explore the Vale on their bikes, so it was great to see so many people taking on the Virtual Evesham Cyclefest routes.

“Cycling offers a fantastic form of exercise to keep us all healthy both physically and mentally during these challenging times.

“It’s also the perfect way to explore the area so we hope people continue to get out on two wheels throughout the year.”

Cycle Evesham Vale organise social rides for all abilities and help advise and encourage improved facilities for active transport in the area.

They hope to return with another Evesham Cyclefest in 2021 in whichever format is suitable and safe.

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