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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Rivers ride cyclists give huge boost to Cumbrian charity

Around 1,000 cyclists pedalled up to £30,000 into the coffers of a charity working tirelessly to help ensure the survival of good causes in Cumbria.

Rivers ride photo
Kiera Hall and her grandad David Hall

The second Jennings Rivers Ride was not dampened by the rain that fell throughout the day as it built confidently on the success of last year’s inaugural event.

Competitors – many of whom were raising money for the sportive’s organisers, Cumbria Community Foundation – cycled on one of three courses.

They were made up of an 11-mile family ride around Derwentwater, a 40-mile middle distance course and an 80-mile big day out ride to the Irish sea at Workington and back through Whinlatter, Newlands and Honister.

The event started and finished at Hope Park, Keswick.

Steve Fisher, 48, of Victoria Road, Whitehaven, who works at Sellafield, rode the family course with friend Kevin Mahone, of Hill Crest, Whitehaven and Kevin’s 13-year-old son Jake.

Mr Fisher said: “We’re riding as Team Mahone today. It’s the first event that Jake has taken part in so it’s a big thing for him.”

Stuart Gaskell, 38, of Great Broughton, near Cockermouth, took part in the family ride with his son Matthew, eight.

Mr Gaskell said: “A friend of mine was doing the 85-mile course and encouraged me to take part. I thought the bad weather would’ve put Matthew off but he seems to be enjoying it so far.”

Amy Howells, 11, of The Arches, Maryport, took part in the family ride with her granddad Ian Howells, 55, of Lancashire.

Amy said: “My mum Nicola has helped to organised the event so we’re doing this to support all the hard work she has done and because we both really enjoy cycling.”

Thomas Spencer, 15, of The Kermit, Keswick, who is a student at West Lakes Academy, took part in the middle distance course.

He said: “There is a big group of us, teachers and students who are doing the course today. We all did it last year because it’s about raising money for a great local cause.”

Other riders who took part included Gary McKeating of Nuclear Management Partners, Tim Backshall, of ITV Border, and groups from the event’s sponsors Cumberland Building Society and Armstrong Watson.

New to the event this year was a secure bike park and a free cup of tea, cake or a pint for everyone who took part. There was also a family fun day in the park.

Community foundation director Andy Beeforth said: “We had 700 people take part in the race last year so to have 1,000 this year despite the weather is fantastic.

“We have had about 100 volunteers helping out. We really couldn’t do this without their help.”

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