The weather was kind yet again to us on the 4th October, after a week of cold and rain it’s always a worry if anyone will turn up, but we weren’t disappointed, the morning was chilly but dry and windless.
As we arrived at 7:30 to get set up riders were already at the Arena preparing their bikes, chatting and contemplating the ride ahead. A steady stream continued to arrive and pretty soon there was a sea of colour and bikes milling around waiting for the start.
An LEP photographer turned up to take some pictures and then after a short safety brief the riders were set off in groups of about 30 so as not to block the small roads, which took a while as there was well over 200.
I couldn’t help but feel sorry for one rider whose pedal disintegrated on the way to the start and was left behind, but better it happened then than on top of the Trough I suppose.
A lull followed until the family ride at 11 am which gave us a chance to set the tombola and buffet up before the quick ones came back.
As the family ride set off the sun came out and the temperature climbed which made the ride all the more pleasant. The sun stayed out all afternoon and as riders returned they could chill out on the seats around the barn exchanging tales of assaults on hills and break neck descents while refuelling on the buffet provided. It was as if someone was smiling on us from above
All the riders arrived back safely, which was the most important thing, with the last one getting back about 4:30. He actually rang us up to make sure we saved him some of the flapjack which he had been thinking about all the way round!
We were slightly down on numbers compared to last year but the people that did turn up did us proud and we raised as much if not more than last year, partly due to the excellent prizes on the tombola donated by a range of businesses from around the area, to which we are very grateful.
The final figure, including gift aid, will be approaching £6000 which is amazing and we can’t thank all the riders, helpers, supporters etc. enough. This will enable us to continue to support up and coming riders in their quest for a career in cycling next year.
Massive thanks to everyone who rode and supported us, Chorley CC were out in force yet again with over 30 riders taking part, and thanks to the riders who came from as far away as Cornwall. Thanks also to The Ribble Valley Juniors for marshalling the family ride again and bringing along a lot of their young riders who rode exceptionally well for the full 20 miles.
Thanks must also go to the Uclan Arena for letting us take over the place for the day, and everyone else who helped, either in a large part or small, without you all we could not have done it.
We hope you enjoyed the day and we look forward to seeing you again next year.