WHEN the Tour de France arrives in Yorkshire later this summer, organisers hope the riders will compete under cloudless skies.
Yesterday, hundreds of determined charity cyclists encountered the more familiar face of the British summer. However, the torrential rain couldn’t stop the Carter Jonas Yorkshire Pedalthon from raising thousands of pounds for a service that saves lives.
Organisers described the inaugural ‘networking on wheels’ event from Carter Jonas as a rip-roaring success. The riders got the chance of completing part of the official Grand Depart route along the way.
Almost 300 riders tackled either the 80 mile Yorkshire Challenge or the 40 mile Yorkshire scenic route, as part of the Yorkshire Post-backed event.
The Yorkshire Challenge riders had to conquer several hills, including the Kidstones Pass, which saw them climb 6,000ft in total. The riders raised money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and public transport charity Sustrans, Both courses started and finished at Ripley Castle in North Yorkshire and passed through the market town of Masham, where they refuelled at a feed station set up at the Black Sheep Brewery.
David Boulton, Carter Jonas’ head of planning for the North, who helped plan the event and completed the 80 mile Yorkshire Challenge ride, said: “It was a real challenge and an arduous route, which made the food stations very popular – without our fantastic food
partners to feed us, we really might have perished.
“It reinforced existing working relationships and created new ones.”
Mr Boulton and his colleague David Aspland devised the pedalthon.
Paul Berwin, managing partner at Berwins Solicitors in Harrogate - the event’s main
sponsor – also completed the 80 mile course.
He said: “Even though the weather was against us today, it didn’t put anyone off and the
riders showed great commitment and really got stuck in.”
Captain Peter Thompson, of the First Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, said: “If I was to
score the ride out of five for difficulty it would make a four at least. We completed a 100 mile training ride in the sunshine at the weekend but the Yorkshire Pedalthon at 80 miles was much harder, simply because of the rain. It got a bit emotional on a couple of those hills out there but the excellent food stations and picturesque scenery helped pull us through.”
Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, was one of the first to ride out on the 80 mile route.
He said: “The conditions were biblical out there today, but it was a good reminder to make sure I book the sun for the Grand Depart in July.”
The Yorkshire Pedalthon, was planned by sporting event organiser Breathingspace Live, and is sponsored by Yorkshire-based Berwins Solicitors, chartered building surveyors Crowther Turnbull Booth and wind turbine specialists Earthmill, and London-based CoStar real estate group.