A Lichfield cyclist whose father-in-law was cared for at St Giles Hospice is calling on riders to saddle up for the Cycle St Giles Spring fundraising ride in May.
Warehouse supervisor Phil Langham, aged 51, took part in his first Cycle St Giles event last September and enjoyed it so much that he has vowed to sign up again this year.
Phil said: “I did Cycle St Giles for the first time last Autumn and jumped right in at the deep end, doing the 100-mile challenge. I really enjoyed it, it was amazing – a really good atmosphere.
“Cycling is a very sociable thing to do and knowing we were all riding for such a good cause gave us a real boost. It’s vital to support specialist services like St Giles Hospice.”
Phil has supported St Giles since his wife Helen’s dad, Denis Parsons, was cared for by the hospice in 2011 before his death. He took part in last year’s ride with a team of fellow worshippers from Lichfield’s Wade Street Church.
Phil added: “St Giles Hospice is such a lovely place. My father in law felt comfortable there and the staff were really good. They always did what they could to help and the nurses were brilliant, really attentive.
“I would definitely encourage people to take part in a cycling challenge for St Giles. It’s a great way to get some exercise and see the countryside and there’s a ride for people of all abilities – you can be as adventurous as you like!
Previous Cycle St Giles Spring events set off from Chasewater but this year’s Cycle St Giles Spring, taking place on Sunday 10th May, will be starting and finishing at a new location – St Giles Hospice in Whittington.
Riders will be able to choose from three brand new routes through the beautiful Staffordshire countryside. The 27-mile route is open to all cyclists aged 10 and above and the more challenging 40-mile and 75-mile routes are open to riders aged 16 and over.
Zoe Wright, Senior Events Coordinator at St Giles Hospice, said: “Our cycling events have raised more than £250,000 since they were launched in 2013 and we’d like to thank everyone who has taken part and raised funds for St Giles. Riders like Phil make an enormous contribution which allows us to support more local patients and their families.
“With a new location this year we hope many Cycle St Giles veterans will return to join our new riders on our exciting new routes.”
Entry to Cycle St Giles Spring this year will be £30 per person, which covers breakfast, a hot drink, electronic chip timing, fully-signed route and GPX download, feed stations, mechanical support, medical support, finisher treats, medal and a personalized certificate. Cyclists are also encouraged to seek sponsorship to raise funds to support the work of St Giles Hospice.
Riders can also sign up for further cycling challenges for St Giles throughout the year, with fundraising places available at Velo Birmingham & Midlands taking place on Sunday 21st June and Wales End-to-End from Holyhead to Cardiff on Thursday 13th August as well as Cycle St Giles Autumn on Sunday 6th September.
Zoe added: “Spring is just around the corner so now is the best time to set yourself a new challenge and support your local hospice. Whichever event takes your fancy, we’d love to hear from you.