With 2013 seeing the inaugural Dales Rider Sportive being held predominantly in North Yorkshire, we thought it was time we caught up to speak with the organisers about the event, what plans there are for it and why you should be tempted to get involved. Take a look below to see what they had to say about it;
(Q) So why have you decided to launch a new event?
Cycling as a sport is increasingly growing in popularity. Obviously 2012 was a huge year for the sport with The London 2012 Olympics and Team GB achieving great success, so to introduce an annual event like The Dales Rider to the Yorkshire area is something Yorkshire Cancer Research is extremely proud of. The 2014 Tour De France will also be hosted by Yorkshire so what better way to gear up for that than by taking part in The Dales Rider.
(Q) And who had the job of planning the route?
Our route was masterminded by Andrew Collier who is a fundraiser of ours. Andrew is a surgeon from Wetherby and will also be riding on the day. The main ‘Gear Grinder’ route was planned to include scenic views of Yorkshire at its finest, passing through 65 miles of villages, moorlands and some of the county’s most breath taking views. This year the longest route is a circular meaning we have managed to avoid the point to point system for those pushing themselves the hardest, allowing riders to return to the same point they set off from. The ‘Gear Grinder’ route is certainly a challenge but by no means unachievable. For those looking for their first cycling challenge, perhaps our ‘Challenger’ route will be more suited, which covers a 26 mile distance while also showcasing some fantastic scenery.
(Q) Why have you decided to target cycling enthusiasts with this event rather than families?
The Dales Rider is a challenging bike ride which we feel is attractive to cycling enthusiasts. Friends and family will sponsor riders to complete the challenge and this will ultimately mean we are able to fund more vital research projects throughout the region.
(Q) What sort of support have you had up to now?
We are very lucky to have Ilkley bike store JD Cycles and Outdoor involved in the event as Official Partner. This means we can make sure as much of the money raised as possible can go directly towards funding research. JD Cycles have very kindly agreed to help us with such things as a support vehicle, water for the water stations and will help sign the route prior to the race. We also really appreciate those who have signed up to marshal on the day. We have attracted interest in the ride from professional cyclist Scott Thwaites, from Burley in Wharfedale, who has very kindly agreed to support the event and be associated with it. We are also grateful to the support of websites such as North Yorkshire Cycling and local media such as the Stray FM news team who continue to support us in the promotion of the event.
(Q) What can we expect on the day?
As ever at a Yorkshire Cancer Research event, all our riders can expect a warm send off from our fabulous volunteers, staff and supporters. We will have designated water stations throughout the route where riders will also be able to collect energy boosters in the form of light snacks. Lunch will be provided to all riders at designated positions along the way and should riders need a toilet break, these will be positioned at all water stations, along with first aid points along the route. Our wonderful volunteers will marshall the entire ride and are a great resource for any questions you may have. Clear signage will guide you alongside a support vehicle from our sponsors JD Cycles who will follow riders with vital repair equipment should there be a problem with your bike. Yorkshire Cancer Research goody bags will be available for riders to collect at the end of the ride.
(Q) And can we expect a large amount of riders?
We are very pleased with the uptake of registrations for The Dales Rider. We are keen to reiterate that the event is not a race, but a challenge, and riders will be set off in a staggered start formation which will allow us to control the amount of cyclists on the roads. This year is the first year for our new route and we would like the event to grow year on year.
(Q) What difference can entrants make to your charity?
Yorkshire Cancer Research funds world-class research, treatment and diagnosis projects throughout Yorkshire. The money raised by participants will make a huge difference in our aim to help the people of Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer. By funding research in Yorkshire, we ensure that people with cancer who live in the region have access to ground-breaking treatments and clinical trials, while also contributing to the global fight against the disease.
(Q) Do you have any fundraising tips for riders?
We have a team in our office who would be delighted to offer support for fundraising ideas. We would encourage riders to ask friends and family for sponsorship support for the ride itself but perhaps you may like to hold an event such as a charity BBQ to further boost your fundraising.
(Q) and finally…..How can people get involved?
If you would like to participate in the event itself, you can enter through our website at http://yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/events/the-dales-rider/#.UeanTdK-1Bk. We are also looking for a number of volunteers to help us out on the day itself. Volunteering at one of our events is a really rewarding experience and volunteers are vital to making our event run smoothly. If you would like to register as a volunteer, please contact the Events Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, if you feel you could help us with promotion of the event by putting posters up and spreading the word please get in touch using the same email address.
North Yorkshire Cycling will be riding this event on the day (long route of course) and would love to see as many of you joining in as possible – either as riders or volunteers. So come on get involved and lets make another great Yorkshire sportive.