A keen cyclist is urging St Giles supporters to sign up for both of our popular fundraising bike rides in May and September – which will lead to them being crowned Cycle St Giles Champions.

Tamworth cyclist Steve Godwin was so inspired by the support St Giles Hospice gave to his dad last year that he completed all three routes of the Whittington cycle ride on the same day last September (2018).

This year Steve will again be supporting St Giles in memory of his dad Maurice, known as Reece, who died at home from cancer while in the care of the St Giles Hospice at Home team shortly after the event, with one of Steve’s cycle ride medals hanging from his bed.

Now Steve is asking fundraisers to go the extra mile to support the hospice this year by joining both the spring and autumn events to help raise funds for St Giles.

Steve said: “Dad went into the hospice and once his pain was under control he rallied and I’d often come in to find him enjoying a Chinese and a beer. But when the nurses asked him where he would like to be when he died, he wanted to go home.

“The Hospice at Home team were there for Dad and the family for five weeks and were such a friendly team providing such amazing care. The hospice has been awesome.”

Riders can choose a road route over 25 or 63 miles through the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, starting and finishing at Chasewater Country Park – one of the county’s most picturesque nature reserves – on Sunday 5th May.

Cycling fans can also book ahead for Cycle St Giles Autumn on Sunday 1st September, choosing one of three route options – 27 miles, 40 miles or 75 miles – each starting and finishing at the hospice in Whittington.

Director of Fundraising Elinor Eustace is calling on cyclists to hit the road for the charity, whether they choose the challenge of one of the events or both.

She said: “Cycle St Giles is back and it is bigger and better than ever! Over the past six years our super cyclists have raised over £160,000 in support of people living with a potentially terminal illness in our local community.

“We need you to help us raise as you ride through the Staffordshire countryside at one or both of our Cycle St Giles events. Everyone taking part has a great time raising funds as they pedal through the fantastic Staffordshire scenery.”

On-the-day registration for the Cycle St Giles Spring event will begin at 8am on Sunday, with the ride beginning at 9am, although riders are advised to book a place beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Tickets for Cycle St Giles Spring start at £21 for fundraisers pledging to raising a minimum of £50 for St Giles – and include a goodie bag and refreshments both in the morning and on completion of the ride. Tickets for riders without committing to a fundraising target start at £30.

Riders wanting to become a Cycle St Giles Champion can sign up for both the spring and autumn events from £58.50 or just £46 if they commit to raising a minimum of £100.

Elinor added: “This year we are pleased to have Dimension Data sponsoring our upcoming charity cycling events. Dimension Data are a global IT company with a large office near Lichfield.”

Dimension Data are renowned for being the official technology partner for the world’s biggest cycling race – the Tour de France – using technology to transform the spectator experience. They also sponsor the global cycling team Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, which has riders such as Mark Cavendish and Bernhard Eisel.

Ceri McCall, Marketing Director, Dimension Data, said: “Dimension Data are delighted to be supporting Cycle St Giles this year and are looking forward to helping to make the events a great success.”

For further details of Cycle St Giles visit the hospice website at www.stgileshospice.com where riders can sign up using the online form. Teams can sign up online individually or, if they want to enter multiple participants, a team spokesperson can call the St Giles Supporter Care Team on 01543 432538, making sure they have full details of each participant.