MORE than 700 riders took part in this year’s Wokingham Bikeathon, raising thousands for charity in the process.
The event, held on Sunday from Cantley Park, marked its 10th anniversary in glorious weather – cooler than the intense heat of the day before.
And the earliest cyclists were sent on their way by Wokingham Town deputy mayor, Cllr Tony Lack.
Participants took part in a range of routes including a 15-mile and a 35-mile course around the Berkshire countryside.
Organisers said that there was a real diversity of ages and abilities taking part, with many charity riders and groups such as Norwood and 1st Arborfield Scouts.
A spokesperson said: “The sense of achievement and enjoyment was evident on the Wokingham Bikeathon Facebook page. People commented that it was their first long bike ride, that the kids loved it and that the new 35-mile route was a big improvement on previous years.
“The route had been amended this year with much debate and discussion within the committee and Wokingham Cycling Club.
“Even those not taking part could come along and support or enjoy the sunshine at Cantley Park.
“They were able to browse and join in with activities at various stands such as My Journey Wokingham, Nuffield Health, Headway, Sprockets, Berkshire Health Clinic, Cycle Services, Wokingham Cycling Club, Mountain Trax and Beyond First Aid. Drinks and food were provided by the Wokingham Rangers and The Bluebell Box.”
They added: “The committee would like to extend their thanks to everyone that helped out and made it a success. Bikeathon will return in 2020.”
Among those taking part were Norreys councillor Rachel Burgess.
She said: “It was a really fun community event suitable for all levels of cyclists. The Bikeathon team deserve credit for a great morning’s cycling and what was a very well-organised event.”
And Headway Thames Valley, one of the charities that benefits from the event, was delighted with the support it had received.
Jamie Higgins said: “Everyone at Headway Thames Valley was so pleased to support the Wokingham Bikeathon – an event that we have been a beneficiary of over the years.
“As a charity supporting people who have suffered a brain injury, it was fantastic to see so many people out on their bikes while wearing a helmet and looking after their heads.
“The atmosphere was great on the day and we met so many wonderful people. Thank you to everyone involved.”
The event also brings a range of businesses together to make Bikeathon happen. They include: Rodger Duckworth Physiotherapy Practice (main sponsor), Berkshire Health Clinic, Mountain Trax, Wokingham Cycle Club, Sprockets Cycle Club, Nuffield Health, Headway, Cycle Services, My Journey Wokingham, Wokingham and East Berkshire Camera Club, Safer Roads Berkshire (Urban limits), Sport in Mind, Bluebell Box food van and Rangers barbecue.