Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Top cyclist joins 100-mile bike ride in aid of much-loved Derbyshire charities

A new partnership is getting the wheels rolling on a 100-mile bike ride to support two charities giving low-tech breaks to hundreds of Derbyshire children who might not otherwise get a holiday at all.

Cosy Foundation, the charitable arm of Kings Award-winning sustainable outdoor children’s furniture business Cosy Direct, has taken on the running of the ‘Skegvegas 100’ bike ride in which cyclists pedal the 100-mile distance from Derby to Skegness.

Now organisers of this year’s ride on Saturday May 18 would love to see more cyclists and businesses get involved, with participants able to rub shoulders with record-breaking cyclist Leigh Timmis, as well as the current High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Theresa Peltier, and William Cavendish, The Earl of Burlington, all of whom are excited to be taking part.

The countryside-to-coast bike ride has been raising money for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre for the past ten years, having been set up and organised by former holiday centre attendee Terry Willis and his son Aaron.

This year for the first time, the money raised will be split between the holiday centre and Derby Kids’ Camp.

Cosy Direct founder and Derby Kids’ Camp patron Peter Ellse, who has taken part in the ride in the past and will be doing so again this year, said:

“The Skegvegas 100 is not a race, it’s a really great, friendly event that we hope to grow and see as many people as possible either taking part in or becoming involved with in some way – whether that’s by providing sponsorship, useful equipment or actually getting on their bike!

“Cycling is clearly a highly sustainable mode of transport, which ties in perfectly not only with our environmental ethos at Cosy but also with what the fabulous volunteers and staff at Derby Kids Camp and The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre are trying to do: give children a break, not just from some tricky situations they might be in, but through playing with other children, a break from their screens too. What better way to raise money for these two charities than with a bike ride all the way from Derby to Skegness!

“This ride is for everyone. Cycling is a great thing, and we want to celebrate that. It’s been brilliantly organised for 10 years and we’re taking it on to hopefully benefit even more Derbyshire children.

“It would be great to see businesses getting enthusiastic and joining our Cosy team in coming along and pedalling those miles. Having done it myself, I can attest to the fact it really is pretty flat and there is some lovely scenery to admire along the way! You can either take on the whole 100 miles or why not enter a relay team to divide up the miles?”

Between them, Derby Kids’ Camp and The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre have been giving free holidays to Derbyshire children in need of a break for nearly 175 years. Derby Kids’ Camp celebrated its 50th birthday in 2023 and has over the years welcomed around 15,000 children to enjoy a week’s camping including craft activities, climbing, and swimming, before snuggling down for the night in tents with comfortable camp beds. Many of the children who go are living in poverty, have suffered a close bereavement or are finding social interaction difficult.

The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre has been going since 1891 and provides five-day stays in Skegness which include days out, a fully-equipped games room, meals out, and, of course, a good old run around on the beach. Children are nominated to go through their school if it is felt that, due to financial hardship or other reasons, they may not otherwise get a break.

Local organisations have already signed up to join the SkegVegas 100 team to help make this year’s event a big success.

Car manufacturer Toyota has provided three electric cars to provide support while riders are en route, as well as its new Hydrogen bus to ferry riders back to Derby after they have finished. The YMCA is providing lunch for hungry riders mid-ride, and Church Broughton-based WeBuyCycle has agreed to come on board to help with any bike maintenance issues along the way – something that Peter himself found helpful last year.

He said:

“Everyone was so helpful last year. My chain broke and someone stopped and helped me. I got a puncture too! I was so delayed that I had to run the last few miles and my brother Paul was actually returning to Derby by the time I made it into Skegness! It’s that camaraderie that has inspired me to take on the organising of the event through our team at Cosy Foundation.”

The launch of this year’s new SkegVegas 100 partnership, with its aim to celebrate cycling amongst the Derby community, follows on from the announcement last year of Derby City Cycling (DCC), the city’s first-ever road racing team.

DCC founders Dean Jackson from HUUB and Paul Martin from WeBuyCycle aimed with its launch to turn the city into a Mecca for cyclists.

Anyone who would like to join this year’s SkegVegas 100, either through sponsorship, buying a specially branded t-shirt, taking on the whole distance or as a relay with colleagues and friends, is asked to contact organisers at: N.Taylor@cosydirect.com.

Organisers are also looking for corporate partners for the event. For more details contact them at: www.skegvegas100.co.uk.

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