A TOTAL of 188 riders took part in the Harry Reynolds Cycling Spring Sportive at the weekend, raising a heartening £940 for the BBC Radio WM’s Kidney Kids Appeal.
The event saw riders from as far afield as Swindon, Merseyside and Nottingham as well as members of Solihull Cycling Club and the local branch of the Cyclists Touring Club complete distances of 35, 50, 60 and 80 miles on Sunday.
Amongst them was BBC Radio WM presenter and Solihull resident Phil Upton who tackled the event with three of his mates.
Leaving from Earlswood Motor Yacht Club, all routes went south with the shorter ones skirting the base of the Cotswold Hills and the 80miler climbing into the hills, past Broadway Tower and descending Stanway Hill. The riders returned via the Vale of Evesham with a refreshment stop in Bishampton Village Hall.
The first riders home had ridden the 60 mile course and appeared at Earlswood remarkably fresh at 12-30pm with all riders finishing by 4pm, despite riding back into the teeth of the freshening NW wind.
Solihull’s former Tour de France rider Harry Reynolds said: “It really was a wonderful day and the weather was absolutely superb - and we had a great turnout.”
Solihull Cycling Club currently has over 400 members and Harry puts the explosion of interest down to the bike track in Tudor Grange Park where youngsters can cycle and compete in complete safety.
“The club is just thriving - it’s unimagineable how it’s grown - I’ve been a member for 60 years and it makes me feel quite proud to see all these kids out there enjoying themselves.
“There were over 100 youngsters from all over the region competing there last Sunday - it’s fantastic.”
The club now has planning permission to put up floodlights along the track and is currently looking at ways to finance the project.