The 6th Lewis Balyckyi memorial Sportive started as usual bright and early, we got to the Uclan Arena before 8am and eager riders were already there waiting to sign on. The weather was glorious, a bit chilly early on but clear blue skies and bright sunlight. Over the next hour the riders arrived steadily and before long the place was humming to the sound of exited chatter and old friends meeting up again, sharing stories and planning what to do on the ride. At 9 am I started the safety brief and let the riders go in batches of 30 or so and before long an eerie quiet descended on the place as we were left on our own. That didn’t last long though and the 70km riders soon arrived at the process started all over again.
This year we had two Moto’s courtesy of one of our sponsored rider’s father for which we are very grateful. They set off after about an hour to act as broom wagons, mechanics, first aid and report back any problems and encourage the riders who were struggling on the hills.
The weather couldn’t have been better with virtually no wind and a clear warm day. The riders soon formed natural groups and rode round the two routes at their own pace, heeding our advice that this is not a race. Everyone got round safely and a lot took advantage of the food stop at the Chipping Church Hall which the Cobbled Corner café hired for us and laid out a large array of homemade cakes, sandwiches etc. This worked out well as there was lots of room for bikes and people could sit out in the sun and recover after the climbs.
The first riders returned early afternoon with big smiles, no problems and reports of stunning views from the top of the Trough of Bowland.
Pretty soon we were holding what can only be described as an after event party, with riders everywhere tucking in to the buffet and trying their luck on the tombola, or just relaxing in the afternoon sun.
The atmosphere was brilliant and I lost count of how many times riders came up to us and congratulated us on an excellent event, vowing to return next year and bring their friends, which is great for us as this is our Charities main fund raising event.
Thanks to everyone who turned up and made the event a success, you did Lewis proud, all the helpers – we couldn’t do it without you, and the Uclan Arena for allowing us to invade the place for the day.
We hope to see you all next year and we will try to make it even better.