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Stamford cyclists urge people to take part in Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride on Bank Holiday August weekend

As the snow clears and the temperature rises, a group of cyclists is gearing up for a fundraising mission this summer.

This year's Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride, will see cyclists peddling through Stamford to raise funds for the homeless charity, The Connection at St Martin’s.

Each year the charity helps thousands of homeless people to get off the streets in London.

Keith Wright, Sylvia Bland, Henry Laprun and Keith Busfield last year
Keith Wright, Sylvia Bland, Henry Laprun and Keith Busfield last year

Keith Busfield, from Stamford, said: “I have a bed for the night, I have a roof over my head, a lock on the door, a hot shower after a hard afternoon’s cycling, then there’s dinner on the table - I feel so lucky.

"That’s why I’m raising money to assist the homeless in London.”

Last year’s Queen Eleanor cycle ride was hampered by a number of challenges presented by Covid-19, such as social distancing, tiers and people falling ill with the virus. Despite this, a socially distanced relay cycle was held which raised more than £22,000.

Queen Eleanor cyclists. Photo taken before pandemic
Queen Eleanor cyclists. Photo taken before pandemic

A number of options are available for this year's cycle ride depending on ability and what Covid-19 guidelines in place.

The traditional route on August Bank Holiday weekend includes 200 miles of cycling from Harby near Lincoln, where Queen Eleanor died in 1290, and follows the route of the crosses to Charing Cross in London. An option is also available for people to cycle 200 miles in their local area.

Claire Thorneley, from Stamford, has called for more cyclists in the area to get involved.

She said: “It's a great cause and brilliant challenge raising money to help the homeless through The Connection at St Martin's.

"Doing 200 miles over three days from my doorstep meant I could explore my local area on two wheels.”

Sylvia Bland, from Greetham, added: “The Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride was something we first did as a family in 2016.

"We wanted to support a valuable charity, test our cycling endurance and, of course, to learn more about the historic Eleanor Crosses.

"Now I do the ride to continue my support for The Connection and for the friendships I’ve made over the years.”

The entry fee for the full ride is £80 before June 30, and £95 after, or to take part locally it's £20.

To register visit: www.friendsoftheconnection.org.uk/events. Alternatively, contact Charles Woodd at charleswoodd46@gmail.com or on 07962 213494.

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