THE Prince’s Trust charity bike ride Palace to Palace West Midlands - supported by Allianz - is back in May 2013.
Last year, Neil Bettridge and a group of local businessmen from Birmingham, the Black Country and Worcestershire – known as the Bathams Boyz - decided to take up the challenge. They had no idea their efforts would raise over £20,000!
The youth charity is now calling on even more people to get on their bikes to help disadvantaged young people across the region.
“Last year I had the shock of my life when my friends and I managed to raise over £20,000 for The Prince’s Trust by cycling through the Warwickshire countryside,” said Neil.
“We decided to sign up for it in the local pub one Friday night. There were 22 of us aged 30-65 and although none of us were fighting fit, we fancied a challenge.
“It has always been important to us to give back and all of the money raised by Palace to Palace West Midlands goes directly towards helping young people here in the region.
“Our local pub quickly became our training HQ. We started to meet there with our bikes every Sunday morning - cycle for two hours - and return for opening time at midday to ‘analyse our performance’.
“Word spread so far we started to attract sponsorship. Bathams Brewery became our team sponsor and A&H Construction donated £500 and put on an executive coach with a driver to transport us to the event and back.
“Suddenly all this cycling didn’t seem so bad.
“On the day itself, I was nervous and excited. I enjoyed the first mile but could have done without the last 44! I’m exaggerating of course because while I wasn’t the speediest it was a truly fantastic experience. The atmosphere was superb and because it isn’t a race, there is no pressure.
“We enjoyed it so much that we will be entering a Bathams Boyz team again this year. I would encourage everyone to get involved too.”
To sign up to ride go to: http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/palace