Record numbers for Beccles cycle race

THE Mayor of Beccles, David Smith, waved off a record number of riders in the eighth annual Beccles Cycle for Life from Beccles Middle School on Sunday.

THE Mayor of Beccles, David Smith, waved off a record number of riders in the eighth annual Beccles Cycle for Life from Beccles Middle School on Sunday.

About 370 people of all ages and abilities set off for the country ride in aid of East Anglian Air Ambulance and the Rotary club of Beccles Charitable Trust, having chosen their own favourite distance from the range offered between seven and fifty miles.

The longest route took in Ringsfield, Becks Green, Brampton, Stoven, Sotterley and Mutford. Some of the roads were a surprise to those who had imagined Suffolk to be flat. The hill on Cucumber Lane was the sting in the tail for some of the tired riders.

This year the team category again made a big contribution to the numbers and more riders than ever before were entered in advance, but the excellent sunny weather also tempted out more than usual to enter on the day. Many said they would ride again and that the event was well organised.

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Linda Rowe, chairman of the committee in the Rotary Club that organised the event said, “Once again we thank all the riders from Beccles and further afield who turned out to support us. It was so lucky that we had such good weather to reward them.”

Rod Parker, the Rotary Club President, was one of the riders. Though not a regular distance cyclist he achieved his goal of fifty miles.

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The growth in support for this event has been generated by word of mouth, poster advertising and especially through the assistance given by the Beccles and Bungay Journal and other Archant local newspapers. The organisers also paid tribute to this help.

They thanked all the helpers, who included Rotary and Inner Wheel members, the Pye Radio Club, Laetitia Hilling from East Anglian Air Ambulance, a sole but very efficient Army Cadet who worked tirelessly all day and many friends of the club.

The organisers now hope that as many of the riders as possible will be sponsored and will collect and bank their promised amounts to help the charities. This year there is greater hope that more of the riders who entered on the day will enter into this aspect of the event.

Those riders who pay in at least �20 in sponsorship in time will go into an exclusive draw to win the prize of a new �250 bicycle of their choice donated by Norfolk & Suffolk Financial Services Limited and supplied at cost by Life-Cycles of Lowestoft. This will take place at the Beccles Hospital Fete on June 27.

Riders also received a medal and a certificate to remind them of their efforts and there will be another ride to look forward to in May next year.

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