As the first-ever Tour de Rennie Grove draws to a close, we're delighted that our new event looks set to have raised more than £25,000 for local families affected by life-limiting illness.
Emily Elvin, Senior Challenge & Events Fundraiser, said: “We know we have plenty of keen cyclists in our catchment – and we know that they are all very generous supporters. However, it’s still blown us away that the cyclists have raised so much in sponsorship; we’re incredibly grateful to all of them. We would also like to thank our headline sponsor, Origin, and our corporate sponsor, KDW Financial Planning. With their support more of the funds raised by our cyclists can go directly towards our work caring for local families.”
With the risk of holding a mass participation event with ever-changing restrictions, and cycling events being resource heavy to manage, we decided to try a new approach to its sponsored cycle event this year.
“We created three 50-mile routes,” explains Emily, “each leg covering an area in which our nurses provide care. People could sign up to one leg or the entire tour and would have access to the routes through Strava. We encouraged people to start leg 1 on Saturday 12 June. However, with the routes being self-guided people had the flexibility to do it at any time suitable for them.”
Rachel Fennell from Amersham was part of a four-strong team who took on all three legs to cycle 150 miles in total. Rachel says of their first leg: “We had a brilliant ride and the manager of the Old Hunter's Lodge Pub near Whipsnade gave us complimentary coffees when we told him we were doing the ride for Rennie Grove.”
Emily adds: “One element that’s missing from a participant-led, flexible event like this is the sense of celebration and a fanfare finish to acknowledge people’s achievements. So it’s lovely that local businesses are recognising and celebrating with our cyclists in this way.”
After a taxing, hilly ride round leg 2, Rachel and her team took on the third and final leg last weekend. Starting in Amersham, the route is the most varied of the three, with pretty historic villages, bridges over the Thames, modern town centres, deserted lanes, suburban streets, short steep descents and a welcome flat section through the Thames Valley.
To take part in our upcoming events, visit our what's on page here for full listings.