Hundreds of fundraisers enjoyed a ride through the Staffordshire countryside as they took part in the St Giles Hospice Cycle Autumn event on Sunday, September 5.

After days of grey skies, the clouds parted as 365 cyclists set off on 26, 52, 75 and 100-mile routes catering for riders of all ages and abilities, which all began and ended at the Whittington hospice.

This year’s Cycle Autumn is set to raise more than £20,000 to support the hospice’s work caring for local patients and their families living with a terminal illness.

Riders prepare to set off at Cycle Autumn

Cycle Autumn had to be cancelled last year because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but has returned for 2021 following the successful relaunch of Cycle Spring in May.

Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who turned out on Sunday to support Cycle Autumn and helped to make it such a success for St Giles. We hope they all enjoyed the event as much as we did!

“Having to temporarily close our shops and cancel our fundraising events in 2020 and early 2021 means that we need the support of our community more than ever right now, so we’re tremendously grateful to all of our fundraisers who make such an important difference to the care we can provide to local families when they need it most.

“We would also like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who give up their time to make everything run smoothly, and to Freedom Cycles, 2 Wheels Only and BikeBOT for helping riders with any last-minute mechanical problems.”

Chloe said that Sunday’s event retained a number of COVID-19 measures for the safety, health and wellbeing of all supporters, volunteers and staff, including staggered start times and maximum group bookings of six people.
She added: “Our cycling events are always hugely popular with riders of all ages 10+ – who range from families with young children to keen and experienced cyclists – and we’re already looking ahead to our Cycle Spring and Autumn events next year.

“We always like to offer our supporters something different so we’ll be offering our riders new routes which will showcase fresh views of our beautiful Staffordshire countryside. So whether you’re a Cycle St Giles veteran or somebody who is thinking of dusting down the old bike in their garage to get some exercise and take on a new challenge, why not sign up today?”

For further information about next year’s Cycle Spring event on Sunday 8th May 2022, visit www.stgileshospice.com/cyclespring, email fundraising@stgileshospice.com or call the fundraising office on 01543 432538.