A column written by Becky Cox of Swindon Cycle Campaign.
The Macmillan Castles Bike Ride is set to return for its 25th year on Sunday 4 June 2023 and is expected to attract around 200 to 300 riders of varying ability levels.
The event will start at Coate Water Country Park in Swindon and will take riders out over the rolling hills, following bridleways around Barbury Castle and the Ridgeway.
The rides are mostly off-road and traffic-free, using some of the fantastic trails we have in the beautiful countryside to the south of Swindon.
The event organiser, Lew Lawton said: "None of the routes are completely flat so everyone can get the satisfaction of completing a challenge suitable for them. We have a family ride of about 10 miles, a medium route of 16 miles and a more technical and challenging route of 25 miles for those with a bit more experience”.
All routes follow the National Cycle Network from Coate towards Chiseldon. The short route does a loop around Chiseldon, following country roads and bridleways.
The medium and long routes join the former railway path towards Marlborough before cutting off at Ogbourne St George and climbing up onto the Ridgeway via Smeath’s Ridge. At Barbury Castle, the medium route heads back towards Chiseldon whilst the long route heads south to Rockly before turning back towards home via Hackpen White Horse.
Refreshment stops and points to refill water bottles will be provided on the medium and long routes.
Participants are encouraged to set up a fundraising page for the event or make a voluntary donation to MacMillan Cancer support, however these are optional. Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist healthcare, information and financial support to people affected by cancer.
It also looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have, and campaigns for better cancer care.This event relies on the support of volunteers to keep the riders safe and on course. The organisers would love to hear from those interested in supporting the event as a marshal/first aider.
If you think you can help please contact email@example.com
For those interested in signing up for the ride, more details will soon be available on www.castlesbikeride.co.uk and the Castles Bike Ride Facebook page: www.facebook.com/CastlesBikeRide
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