09:00AM, Wednesday 08 September 2021
More than 500 cyclists took part in the event
More than 500 cyclists descended on the Marlow countryside at the weekend for the return of an annual charity bike ride, which raises money for good causes in the area.
The Marlow Red Kite Ride took place in the town on Sunday after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and saw keen cyclists take to the roads once more on a route of their choosing.
Now in its 10th year, the event has raised more than £70,000 for charities, with this year’s good causes Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Wycombe Homeless Connection, Younger People with Dementia, Samaritans Slough Windsor & Maidenhead, and Marlow Sports Club.
Following the event, a provisional total of about £12,000 is reported to have been raised for the charities.
The ride showcases countryside around Marlow, taking 526 riders into the Chilterns, with three routes of 50, 80 or 100 miles to choose from, and is organised by cycling group Marlow Riders.
As well as seeing the return of in-person meet-ups and socialising, the ride also welcomed The UK contingent of the InternationElles, a group of female cyclists championing gender equality in cycling.
The team rode the 100 mile route and were said to frequent each snack stop to take advantage of the flapjacks and chat with their fans, as they averaged a speed of 18.3 miles per hour across the course.
Andreina West, a member of Marlow Riders, said the event went ahead without major incident on Sunday, barring one or two riders who needed rescuing when faced with a puncture.
“It was so nice to hold the event again. It was a really happy event, really,” she said. “Everyone was upbeat and pleased to be out doing something normal, and it ran almost like clockwork.
“Our focus is to ensure the riders have a lovely day, and we raise money for local charities.
“Seeing people face-to-face, outside, again, is such a tonic after we have all been cooped up.”
Once riders had returned, a BBQ was held outside the Marlow Sports Club in Pound Lane, with Marlow FM supplying the afternoon’s tunes in the September sunshine.
Marlow resident Ian Pike, 80, completed the 50-mile route on his electric bike in just four hours, 40 minutes.
There was a team of 15 riders completing the distance on behalf of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, including Spencer Hillier, whose own life was saved by the service.
Visit www.marlowredkiteride.co.uk for more information on the event.