Hayling to Holland Charity Bike Ride

The Hayling to Holland Ride provides a tough but achievable challenge for anyone who wishes to raise money for a good cause. The event has been thriving since 1986 with over £1,300,000 raised for more than 500 good causes. It used to take place in France and was formerly known as “The Paris to Hayling Ride” but successfully switched to “bike friendly” Holland in 2012. Riders are free to cycle at their own pace and there is a real emphasis on fun rather than pure speed and this might explain why many riders have come back year after year.

While some keen souls persevere with their peddling throughout the winter, slipping and sliding around the country lanes and risking frostbite in their extremities, the cycling season for many begins as spring approaches. In line with past tradition we start our practice rides in early March. This year there will be some changes however and so we have decided to hold some rides on Saturdays and some as usual on Sundays. Full details of the first few Practice Rides can now be found on our web site. Later rides will appear soon but the delay in featuring these is that rather than simply rehashing old routes we are looking to plot some new ones. Also for the first time an Isle Of Wight Ride will be included. While we call them “Practice Rides” for very obvious reasons they also give riders the chance to meet ride veterans and thereby understand more about the Hayling Cycle Ride. Furthermore you don’t have to be planning to cycle on this to join in as we welcome riders from all past years and even those who are just thinking of joining our main event at a later stage.

The entries for our trip around Holland are coming on well. Of course our annual “cyclathon” has long since been a purely local event and past riders have come from 14 different countries as well as from all over the UK. This international flavour will be perpetuated this year with riders from Holland, Germany, Portugal and the USA.

Likewise the interest in the Channel to Channel (Bristol/ Salisbury/ Hayling, 11/12 May) remains strong. We already have over 30 entries but we can take quite a few more.

As well as looking forward to this summer’s event we are of course also wrapping up last year’s Ride and in particular assessing just how much money has been raised. Some of this is paid directly to us but for some years now the majority is paid straight by riders to their chosen charities. We cannot confirm the final amount at this stage but we do know that we have comfortably passed £1,300,000 regarding funds raised since 1986. And we believe over 50 different charities are likely to benefit from the 2012 ride. Notable fund raisers include Jackie Lytton (£3,300 for St Wilfrids Hospice), Paul Clutterbuck (£3,200 for Operation Smile), Melanie Leggett (£2,156 for Aplastic Anaemia Trust) and Barrie Dawson (£2,000 for Royal Marsden Head and Neck Care). There is a story behind every fund raising effort.

Finally anyone who knows much about the Hayling Cycle Ride would probably be quick to point out that there are some pretty mad people connected with the event! Committee member Tony Hart can probably be counted as one of these! Tony is a very serious and highly competent cyclist but over the 15 years or so that he been associated with us he has injected a lot of fun into the event often preferring to having pranks near the back of the ride rather than be out in front as he could always be if he chose. Some years ago he rode Lands End to John O’Groats in less than 5 days. He has also completed multiple climbs of the famous Mont Ventoux in a single day. Afterwards I understand that not a single trace of EPO was found in his blood although he would have comfortably failed a breathalyser! However this isn’t crazy enough for Tony who has now set himself another impressive challenge! Along with some fellow members of the Team Axiom Cycling Club he plans to cycle from the Lizard to Dover in 24 hours. That is a mere 380 miles but I am sure Tony will do it without any problems.

But I would stress you don’t have to be as good a cyclist as Tony Hart to join up with the Hayling Cycle Ride. We take riders of all standards and indeed I am proof of that! Please check out our web site and then hopefully you will get in touch.

For more information go to www.hayling-cycle-ride.org.uk


Peter McQuade

President and Chairman