It’s now official! We have gone back to our original name “The Paris to Hayling Charity Cycle Ride”. This reflects the fact that in 2014 we are truly going back to our “routes”. It may sound hard to believe but after 28 of our annual rides I can still get excited about the next one . Already I am looking forward to our return to Paris in 2014. Multi- Day Charity Rides involving the French capital or some other famous city or town are now very common but as far as we can establish we were the first ! And equally although by no means all entrants are now local , no other ride of this type has involved getting so many members of its immediate community “en masse a bicyclette”. The ride from Paris and then in subsequent years to and from Paris has certainly provided a lot of people with a lot of enjoyment (yes and hangovers) as well as raising a great deal of money. It will be good to return to some of our old haunts next year as well as discovering some new parts France. One new aspect will be the fact that our Paris location is Montmartre. I am sure it will prove a fascinating and indeed lively place to stay !
If you have never done one of our rides before why not give it ago. The Paris to Hayling is not a race , you don’t have to be great cyclist (I can personally confirm that that) and it’s a really friendly atmosphere as , anyone who has done it will confirm that ! The One Way Ride (coach to Paris and then cycling home) is an ideal entry ride for anyone who want to try this sort of event for the first time. But if you are thinking of entering next year you should also check your diary for 2015 as I must warn you, the event does tend to become habit forming ! The story of record raiser Barrie Dawson is a good example of this. In 2000 having quite recently survived a really aggressive throat cancer he was passing a shop in Winchester and saw an advertisement for our ride. Although not previously a serious cyclist he signed up and rode to raise funds for throat and neck cancer research. He thought it would be a “one off” but to date he has ridden in 14 Hayling Cycle rides, and raised a staggering £59,000 !! While nobody else has matched his prodigious fund raising there are many others who likewise have entered as novices got “hooked” and come back year after year . Aside from cycling with enthusiasm and , his contribution to charity Barrie has always enjoyed the social side of the ride , stops at bars/cafes for a well-earned beer and of course our famed last night parties. It’s this combination of cycling, fund raising and fun which make our event so special.
In our planning for next year we saw a need for updating our web site. In this committee member Lori Poore has as in so many aspects of the ride been critical but Lori and I have been greatly helped by the assistance of Andy Henderson. As those who are familiar with the Cycle Hayling web site can testify Andy really knows how to make a web site impressive. Of course Andy is also chairman of Cycle Hayling , an organisation which is doing great job. I have for a long time thought that the cycling infrastructure of Hayling was somewhat deficient I know many of my Paris to Hayling colleagues have shared that view. Indeed we have often said in the past that if it wasn’t for the obvious connection we would have thought twice about taking a large group of cyclists anywhere near Hayling !! It’s great to see an organisation tackling this problem and to be making progress .
Further details of the 2014 ride will be made available at the Hayling Cycle Ride AGM and Reunion Party at Hayling Golf Club on Saturday November 9t. All past riders and support team members are welcome as well as anyone who is thinking if joining us next year. Full details of this event and of the 2014 ride area available on our web site (haylingcycleride.org.uk) or on Facebook. You can also enter on line via the web site.