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Why Cycle 4 Cynthia has a hold on me

Harry Mallinder braves the rain to start the riders off on Sunday morning

It is a bizarre truth that a rainy end to September can impact on the good work of the Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Their main fundraiser of the year is the annual Cycle 4 Cynthia bike ride and rain on the day might reduce the numbers taking part by over 100.

On Sunday the event returned to Althorp House and hundreds set off on the 50, 25 and five mile rides including your humble servant.

Of course the final tally of sponsorships and donations is what really counts – so please if you were ever going to donate a couple of quid to the hospice now would be a good time.

But I must admit I’ve been doing this event every year for a little while and as I set off in the drizzle on Sunday I did reflect on the peculiar hold it has on me.

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The first year I did it, it was a massive adventure. It was my first step away from bimble around town type cycling to something properly organised.

At that stage I didn’t personally know anyone who had benefited from the work of the hospice and my main motivation was the cycling challenge.

I had a great time. It is a friendly and fun way to gently crank up your ambition as a cyclist and – thanks to the medal you receive for completing the event – feeling like you have achieved something.

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Since that first ride however there are probably now at least half a dozen people I have known who have been helped by Cynthia Spencer and I have found myself caring about the work that they do in a much more personal way.

You can see the same thing reflected on the ride when teams go out wearing T-shirts dedicated to a lost friend or relative who was supported by the hospice.

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Among those was the family and friends of Harry Chadwick, an excellent young man from Spratton who passed away last year but had cheered on his mum Jess at previous Cycle 4 Cynthias.

This year riding in his name they raised over £2000.

It is perfectly understandable that cold wet weather would discourage some from taking part but it would be superb if we could make that matter as little as possible by donating something now.

You can donate via Harry Chadwick’s Justiving Page

Or you can find out more about Cycle 4 Cynthia and donate via their website here

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