Val Jones receives a new bike donated by Mitchel Cycles in recognition of her fundraising efforts during the 2017 Macmillan Castles Bike ride

Pictured are (L to R) Val Jones, Edward Jones, Janice Mitchell, Lew Lawton and Mr M(itchell)

For the past 21 years, with one exception due to the Foot and Mouth issue, bike riders from Swindon and around have taken part in the MacMillan Castles Bike.  Originally a mountain bike event only this year course organiser Lew Lawton, the Mobile Cycle Medic, opened the event up to road bike riders (or roadies) and put on a challenging 24 mile road ride incorporating one of Swindon’s most respected hill climbs.

Whilst the roadies were pitting themselves against Snap Hill on the Ogbourne St George to Aldbourne Road, the Mountain bikers were facing similar tests on the off-road route via Barbury Castle, Hackpen, Rockley and Ogbourne St Andrew.

Riders are asked to raise sponsorship for Macmillan Cancer support and many, like Val Jones above raise huge sums for this important charity.  Riders often sport jerseys proclaiming they are riding in memory of a lost love one, or simply donate so they can enjoy a great day out in the countryside on their bike.  Each year Mitchel Cycles in Shrivenham Road donate a bike which is given as a prize to the person raising the most sponsorship.  This year Val Jones from West Swindon won for the second time and has given her bike to her son,                    , so he can ride the event next year

The event takes about 6 months of planning and would not take place with out the assistance of the 50 or so marshals that man the road crossings and junctions to help keep everyone on the route safe.  Back at the HQ and at the two refreshment points another team of volunteers hand out tea, orange juice, water, cakes and the well appreciated bananas donated by Fyffes.

Next year’s event will take place from Croft Sports Centre on Sunday 3rd June.  To find out more check out the web site or facebook page.   If you would like to volunteer in any capacity, please contact Lew Lawton on 07962 118849