CYCLISTS are being called on to get in gear and sign-up for a new charity ride.
The Ride for Bikes 60km Hilly Challenge in support of Heart of England Mencap is happening on Sunday June 25, pedalling off at 9am.
Starting and finishing at Meon Vale Leisure Centre, it will see cyclists taking on a 60km route through Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, including the challenging climbs of the Cotswold hills.
Cath Errington, fundraising manager for Heart of England Mencap, said: “This is the first time we’ve organised a big bike ride and really want to make it a big success, raising money to buy adapted bikes for our customers.
"But we really need more cyclists to sign-up for the challenge to ensure the event is viable.
“Cycling is something our customers get a huge amount of joy out of – but adapted bikes are very expensive and we are only a small charity.
“We are starting to build a small fleet of bikes thanks to previous fundraising, grants and donations –but we still need so much more.
"Hand cycles for example enable people in wheelchairs but with strength in their arms to experience to joy of cycling.
"Side by side bikes allow workers to ride with a customer, meaning that even those who don’t have much physical strength can still benefit from the experience.
"We want to buy regular bikes as well, so that friends and family can join our customers for a fun day of cycling.”
The event is fundraising for Heart of England Mencap a local charity supporting more than 200 people with learning disabilities across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
All of the money raised will support the charity’s cycling project; funding adapted bikes to allow Mencap’s customers to enjoy riding too.
The 60km Hilly Challenge is being sponsored by Rosconn Group.
Daniel O’Donnell, managing director for The Rosconn Group, said: “We are privileged to be in a position to support local communities and improve local lives and this year we are again delighted to sponsor Heart of England Mencap in their quest to make a difference to the lives of local people with a learning disability.”
Registration for Rides for Bikes costs £30 per cyclist, to include food and refreshments.
Those keen to get involved but lacking the legs to take on the full 60km challenge can still be part of the event too, with a fun, indoor static ride taking place on the day at Meon Vale.
For more information and to register go to www.heartofenglandmencap.org.uk