Back in the saddle for £21k charity fundraiser

The long-awaited and COVID-secure KM Big Bike Ride 2020 was a great success.

Photo gallery Ride times Your next event

More than 350 riders got in a spin for the highly-anticipated 10th anniversary KM Big Bike Ride on Sunday, October 11 and raised £21,000 for charity.

The annual ride, delayed from its traditional April date due to the coronavirus pandemic, enabled cyclists to take on either a 50K or 100K challenge and raise sponsorship for any cause of their choice.

It was organised in partnership with Vattenfall by children’s charity the Kent and Medway (KM) Charity Team to support its health and wellbeing work with schools, while giving other causes the chance to boost their funds.

Seventy per cent of sponsorship raised will go to participants’ selected charities. The remaining slice will help to cover event costs and contribute towards the KM Charity Team’s child literacy and green travel programmes.

The sun shone on hardy cyclists setting off from Betteshanger Park near Deal to complete the circular route of their choice, taking in the stunning East Kent countryside and, in the case of the longer route, scenic Thanet coastline.

Despite strict check-in times and social distancing measures – not to mention the ubiquitous hand sanitiser – to ensure rider safety the event’s atmosphere was buzzing. Muffled laughter abounded as masked staff and volunteers from the KM Charity Team provided a warm welcome for excited riders and cheerily assisted them on their way to the starting line.

Naturally the customary group start with the waving of the chequered flag was eschewed in favour of a COVID-secure handful of riders setting off every 15 minutes.

Also looking out for riders’ wellbeing were volunteer marshals from South East 4×4 Response and first aid representatives from S.E. Medical, while Southern Co-op donated refreshments to help them maintain energy. Other supporting organisations included Herberts Cycles and Specsavers.

Diana Yemm from Folkestone, who took on the 50K challenge, was first back over the finish line to collect her souvenir medal.

Mark Weston, from Faversham, was the most successful individual fundraiser generating £975 for the town’s Abbey Physic Community Garden.

The title of highest group fundraiser went to Kerry Rigden and Melanie Ray from Thanet who together raised £2,060 for Dementia UK.

Other charities benefiting included Martha Trust, Age UK Thanet, Friends of Five Acre Wood School, Moving Memory Dance Theatre, St Ethelbert’s PTFA, Canterbury Housing Advice Centre, Catching Lives, Pilgrims Hospice East Kent, Oasis Domestic Abuse Services, Lord Whisky Sanctuary Fund, Westborough School in Maidstone, Caring All Together on Romney Marsh, Friends of the Wisdom Hospice, Medway branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Kent Air Ambulance, Pilgrims Bandits, and Teenage Cancer Trust.

Companies interested in supporting next year’s KM Big Bike Ride should contact the KM Charity Team’s CEO Mike Ward at mward@thekmgroup.co.uk or on 07925 434871.

For details of charity fundraising challenges in 2021 visit www.KMCharityTeam.co.uk/booking

KM Big Bike Ride participants can download their free sportive photos here.

About the Author