Hundreds of cyclists will cycle 43 miles at the UK’s oldest velodrome in Brighton’s Preston Park on Saturday 31 October to help raise money for two vital charities.
This year, to celebrate 137 years of the Preston Park Velodrome, the organisers are looking for cyclists of all ages to take part in the Preston Park Challenge and cycle 137 laps equalling 43 miles.
The Martlets Hospice in Hove provides end of life care services to adults with terminal illness including cancer. Antonia Shepherd, Events Manager for Martlets Hospice, added: “This is a really fun event, and everyone from serious cyclists, to families just wanting to get out on their bikes, are welcome.
“Each year we set a distance challenge, and this year it is to cycle 137 laps, in celebration of the velodrome. Don’t worry though, there are shorter distances too! You can set your own personal, family or team distance goals.
“There will also be cakes, refreshments and live music to keep spectators entertained. We are hoping to raise £10,000 in support of both charities and look forward to seeing as many people there as possible.”
The Pedal in Preston Park event was created by the family and friends of Rachel Evans-Milne who died in 2009 from Motor Nuerone Diease aged 44. They wanted to do something positive in her memory.
Alistair Milne, Rachel’s husband explained: “I am so looking forward to this year’s Pedal in Preston Park on 31 October. When, as a family, we started the event in 2010 we could not have imagined that it would still be going strong 5 years later.
“Watching my wife, Rachel, succumb to Motor Neurone Disease was a terrible experience. When Rachel was first diagnosed, it was the local MNDA branch who helped us with a fantastic support network as well as specialist equipment. As the disease took hold the Martlets Hospice at Home team provided carers to help with Rachel’s increasing needs. Both organisations were there all the way along.
“Our thanks to both charities and the Preston Park Youth Cycle Club for organising this year’s event. It is such a joyous day, watching cyclists of all ages and abilities lapping the track, and what a track it is too, the oldest velodrome in the UK! So please come down and support the event and these two great charities, whether it is getting on your bike to ride or cheering them on while having a coffee and a slice of cake.”
The event is hosted by the Preston Park Youth Cycling Club on the last day of their cycling season and will see a teams from all over Sussex cycling in support of people living with Motor Neurone Disease.
Pamela Fry, Regional Fundraiser Motor Neurone Disease Association, said: “We are so delighted that Alistair and his family, together with Martlets Hospice & MND Association are continuing with this event now in its sixth year.”
Pedal in Preston Park takes place on Saturday 31 October 8.30am – 5pm. Club cyclists ride between 8.30am – 12noon then the track is open to all riders and the first public session at midday will include wheelchair users. Entry is £10 for adults and under 16s are free, participants can register online at www.pedalinprestonpark.org.uk or by calling Antonia Shepherd on 01273 964200.