Pedalling off into the distance
Posted: Tue, 26 Jun 2018 16:25
Photo courtesy of www.placeimages.co.uk
She's been rather busy lately, preparing for her wedding and packing up her Northamptonshire home to head back to her native Wales, but former world champion and double Olympic medal-winning cyclist Becky James still made time to bid a fond farewell to her favourite county charity, Cynthia Spencer Hospice.
Becky, who's returning to Cardiff with her fiancé, former Saints and Welsh winger George North, dropped in to the Hospice's day centre to join staff, patients and their families as they celebrated the fifteenth birthday of its biggest annual fundraiser, Cycle4Cynthia, the ride which she opened last year.
While she's looking forward to being back in the land of her fathers, firing the starter hooter in front of 1100 pedallers at the 2017 event remains one of the highlights of her time in the county: "I'd visited the Hospice last summer and had seen first-hand the amazing work of the team there so being asked to start the ride was a real privilege" explained Becky, who's now retired from professional sport to start up her own cake-making business, Baked By Becks.
"My cycling career saw me compete against serious and dedicated cyclists who were desperate to take titles and break records, but to watch more than a thousand riders of all ages and abilities at last year's event and to know what a difference their efforts were making to Hospice was really moving and it's a day I will never forget" she added.
After chatting with patients and staff, Becky then cut the cake both to mark the ride's fifteen birthday and to celebrate the incredible total of more than half a million pounds which has been raised by thousands of cyclists in Cycle4Cynthia's fourteen-year history.
The money has helped to fund first-class end of life care for hundreds of patients at the Northampton Hospice and throughout the county as well as invaluable emotional support to their friends and family, so it was appropriate that fundraising manager, John Helm, should pay tribute to the afternoon's special guest: "Having such a fabulous sportswoman as Becky with us last year really helped to raise the profile of the ride and I'm sure attracted even more people to leap into their saddles for us" said John.
"So we're really delighted that she could be with us today to celebrate that amazing achievement and all the more pleased that she had chance to say goodbye to us and enjoy a slice of cake that she hadn't had to make herself!" he enthused.
Cycle4Cynthia 2018, which is generously supported by headline sponsor EMW Law LLP among other businesses, will take place on Sunday 23rd September at Althorp, by kind permission of The Earl and Countess Spencer, offering 5, 25 and 50 mile routes.
For more information, including registering for the ride, details of sponsorship opportunities or entering a team into the ride, please visit www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk or call the Hospice on 01604 973340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, to keep up to date with the latest news on the event, please visit and 'like' the ride's and Hospice's page on Facebook.