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Wokingham Bikeathon raises thousands for charityBy Hugh Fort
June 27, 2012
Hundreds of pumped-up cyclists came out for a ride around the rural parts of the borough in the popular Wokingham Bikeathon.
More than 450 riders signed up for the event on Sunday, choosing either a 15-mile ride or a more testing 35-mile route.
The 15-mile route took the riders through Twyford, Hurst and Waltham St Lawrence, while the longer option also travelled through Arborfield, Swallowfield and Eversley, before heading back to the Civic Offices in Shute End, where the ride started.
Organiser Stan Hetherington was delighted with the 453 riders taking part, which is a record amount.
He said: “It was just brilliant. It was bit hectic on the morning but they all got away. It’s great to see a record turnout again.
“It rained all night and there was some flooding on the course, but there weren’t any problems.
“I had to re-direct a few people who went the wrong way, but all in all it was a very good day.”
Many riders took part to raise cash for charity, including Andy Pragnell, 47, from Keep Hatch in Wokingham.
He and five mates donned Union Jack ‘morphsuits’ for the ride, while raising money for Ashridge Nursery in Ashridge Road.
He said: “The nursery is self-funding so we decided to get together and get on our bikes to support it.
“We all met through having children there so decided on this.
“These morph suits are pretty hot so I can’t imagine we’ll have them up over our heads for too long, but we’ll give it a good go.”
The dads had raised about £700 for the nursery and hoped that would rise to around £1,000.
Other fundraisers taking part were Sophie Kipps and two friends, Sarah Maycock and Martin Sellers, who were raising money to buy new equipment for Wokingham Day Nursery in Wescott Road. The hoped to raise £290.
Ms Kipps said: “We wanted to do something for the nursery as it’s a great place, so we’ve decided to get on our bikes.”
Mr Hetherington said Joe Piplow, who has no legs, came down from Worcestershire and completed the 35-mile route using an arm-powered bicycle he had never used before.
The event was attended by Councillor Peter Lucey, mayor of Wokingham Town. He said: “It’s a fantastic event and the organisers have done a wonderful job. It’s great to see the turnout.”