Last chance to register for ride

Jump on the saddle and take the challenge of a stunning route through the South Downs. Picture: Colin Baldwin Photography
Jump on the saddle and take the challenge of a stunning route through the South Downs. Picture: Colin Baldwin Photography

Cyclists of all abilities have until Monday to register for the new Hit the Downs MTB off-road cycling event.

There is the choice of a 20-mile or 40-mile route across the South Downs on Sunday, May 7, to raise money for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice or St Barnabas House hospice.

One of the first people to sign up when registrations opened in January was Tim Mackew. 56, from Southwick, who is cycling for Chestnut Tree House.

He will be riding in memory of his mother, Rose, who lost her battle with cancer four years ago, and has already smashed his original £200 fundraising target by raising more than £2,000 for the children’s hospice.

Tim said: “My mother had an amazing commitment to child welfare and in turn I feel a real affinity towards causes that support young people.

“I know that she’d be really proud that I’ve managed to raise so much for such a fantastic charity that does so much to help local children.”

Keen cyclist Stephen Williams, 56, from Steyning has recently registered to do the 40-mile route for Chestnut Tree House and has set himself a fundraising target of £1,000.

Stephen said: “I enjoy cycling and Chestnut Tree House is such a worthwhile charity, so when a friend of mine told me he’d entered the event, it didn’t take much to persuade me to take part.

“I’m hoping my friends and family will get on board with my fundraising and help me to hit my £1,000 target for this amazing cause that helps so many local children and families.”

Andy Burt, director of adult nursing at St Barnabas House, believes the event will be an excellent opportunity for the hospice to raise its profile in the community

He will be pedalling the 20-mile course for the adult hospice and is looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s amazing scenery and it’s going to be hard work, but it’s an absolutely worthwhile cause and a fantastic opportunity to have some real fun,” he said.

“It will take us out of our comfort zones but in such pleasant surroundings. It’s about being outside, exercising and being with like-minded people who are there for a good cause. I would thoroughly recommend it.”

Registration, at £33 per person, closes on Monday, April 24. Visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/events/hit-downs-mtb/ for Chestnut Tree House, www.stbh.org.uk/hitthedowns for St Barnabas House, or call the fundraising team on 01903 706354.

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