Leap into your saddle for leap year ride!

Northamptonshire’s favourite annual charity fundraising bike ride is urging cyclists to celebrate the leap year by leaping into their saddles for the 2020 event, with a special ‘early bird’ discount for those signing up between 29 th February and 29 th March. Cycle4Cynthia, which has raised almost £600k for Northamptonshire’s Cynthia Spencer Hospice and which will be held on Sunday 20 th September at Lamport Hall, is, for the first time in its seventeen year history, opening for entries early and, as the Hospice’s fundraising manager John Helm explains, it’s for the best possible reason: “We had a really great day at last September’s event at Holdenby House, with quite a number of riders asking when they would be able to enter for this year, even as they were crossing the finishing line!” said John.

“I think that just goes to prove how much they’d enjoyed pedalling, while it also shows how highly they regard the invaluable work of the entire team at the Hospice and so, with many further enquiries since the start of the year, we just thought we should, pardon the pun, get ourselves in gear and kick things off a few weeks earlier than usual!

“We’re delighted therefore that online entries will open on 29 th February, with entry fees at the discount rate of £10 for adults, £5 for children and £25 for families until 29 th March, so I’d really urge anyone with two wheels to sign up and join us for what promises to be another fabulous event” he enthused. One of those who’ll be logging on to do just that on leap day itself is Phil Rix from Northampton, who took part in the ride for the fourth time last year, on that occasion as captain of a ‘Bike4Bedtime’ team representing Heygates Flour and Animal Feed from Bugbrooke. The ‘Bike4Bedtime’ challenge encourages businesses, friends and families to enter a team of four and raise £504 pounds through their entry fees and sponsorship – the amount needed to provide one day’s specialist care for one patient in the Hospice’s inpatient unit – and Phil explained why that was such a perfect opportunity to demonstrate their support: “Cycle4Cynthia is always such an amazing day and it’s wonderful to see cyclists of all abilities, young and old alike, turn out in support of this most deserving of causes” explained Phil.

“When the event was last at Lamport back in 2017, I was incredibly proud to ride the 25 mile route with my son, Haydn, which was quite an achievement given that he was only 12 at the time, and last year we jumped at the chance to enter a work team to ride in memory of the sister of one of our colleagues who passed away at the Hospice and it proved to be the most enjoyable and rewarding way to say thank you for their incredible care, both of her and her family.

“So, we can’t wait to go back to Lamport and, needless to say, I’ll be signing up again at the earliest opportunity!” he added. Cyle4Cynthia is the biggest fundraiser in the calendar for Cynthia Spencer Hospice, which offers specialist palliative care for its patients as well as vital practical and emotional support for their families. Proceeds from the ride also help to fund the Hospice’s Wellbeing service, which aims to help those with a life-limiting illness to live their life as fully as they can by helping to maintain their physical function and independence for as long as possible. Cycle4Cynthia 2020 will take place on Sunday 20th September at Lamport Hall with 5, 25 and 50 mile routes on offer.

To enter online, or for more about the history of the event, please visit www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk For further information, including registering for the ride, details of corporate sponsorship opportunities, or to enter a Bike4Bedtime team, please call the Hospice on 01604 210941 or email fundraising@cynthiaspencer.co.uk. You can also keep up to date with the latest news on the event, by visiting and liking the ride’s and Hospice’s pages on Facebook. Finally, 2019 riders who have not yet done so are politely encouraged to collect their sponsorship money as quickly as possible and deliver or send it to Cynthia Spencer Hospice, Manfield Campus, Kettering Road, Northampton NN3 6NP, making cheques payable to ‘Cycle4Cynthia’.