2023 Hayling Charity Cycle Ride

Saturday 8th July 2023 to Friday 14th July 2023

Distance: 372 miles

The 2023 ride took place between the 8th and 14th July.

When it started back in 1986, charity cycle events were rare. The London to Brighton ride had begun in 1980 and an annual cycle event in South Wales for Banardo’s dates from 1982 but as far we can tell we are the longest running multi-day ride and certainly the first one to regularly cross the channel.

There's a place for you

The success of the Hayling Cycle Ride, on so many levels, is outstanding. It is not just the money raised, which is well over £1.7m but also the friendships, the camaraderie, the fun, the “spin off” rides and the interest generated in cycling for so many. Riders have come and joined us from all quarters. The diversity and spirit of the riders who remain so enthusiastic year after year is truly humbling. Lord David Willets once described the Bike Ride as a ‘Unique Hayling Institution’. It remains so, although riders have come from 15 different countries. It is clearly a ride that has extended way beyond its original roots.

The 2023 started at the Portsmouth ferry terminal. We caught the 8.15am sailing on Saturday 8th July 8.15am to Ouistreham, arriving at 3pm local time.

The route:

Chartres cathedral
  • Saturday: short ride from Ouistreham to Lisieux, 30 miles
  • Sunday: Lisieux to Evreux, 60 miles
  • Monday: Evreux to Chartres, 65 miles
  • Tuesday: Chartres to Lisieux, 85 miles
  • Wednesday: Lisieux to Bayeux, 65 miles
  • Thursday: Bayeux to Cherbourg, 67 miles

On Friday, we caught the noon ferry from Cherbourg, arriving back in Portsmouth at 4.45pm local time. From there we rode back to Hayling.

The French roads awaited us

The itinerary, route notes and GPX files for the ride are here.

Pete McQuade writes:

The 36th Hayling Cycle Ride took cyclists from Caen to Chartres with overnights in Lisieux and Evreux before heading back home via Bayeux and Cherbourg taking in the D-Day landing sites . Although we have cycled in this area several times before its impossible as you look out at the bare beaches not to be moved by the unbelievable bravery of those who fought their way up those back in 1944.

All riders survived with no serious injuries although there were a few cuts and bruises and some damage to an unfortunate group of cyclists who only belatedly discovered that the beer they were drinking with alacrity on arrival in Chartres was 8.5% alcohol!

There was a great combination of new riders and veterans many of whom had taken part more than 10 times. And together they generated the fantastic camaraderie for which this event is rightly known . Riders had to face a variety of conditions including stifling heat on Day 1 and heavy rain and strong winds in the last days, but they kept smiling , most of the time. After tackling the final and somewhat significant undulations towards Cherbourg, riders duly celebrated the completion of another successful event .

Prizes were awarded to several deserving riders . These included an award for Hector Forbes-MacCallum and Sue Wilson one of 19 couples who have met on our rides and who collectively have completed this event 40 times. Awards were also made to Mike Willenbruch for being so supportive of his team, to Julie Freegard who battled with a serious knee injury to complete the event and to Judith Sheppard who raised over £2,000 despite only being able to join us for 2 days . There were also congratulations to “Team Bayern” who won the final day fancy dress award for their lederhosen outfits !