Arkriders gear up for 2019 challenge

They are at the heart of the community campaign to raise £5million for a new NHS cancer treatment centre in Basingstoke – and now the Arkriders are gearing up for their 2019 fundraising feat.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity has raised more than £2m as it continues its appeal to help fund the new centre which will provide care and support for cancer patients and their loved ones throughout the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) area.

In the last three years, the Arkriders – a group of cycling fundraisers whose collective number totals more than 50 riders – have piled on the pedal power from John O’Groats to Land’s End, London to Brighton, Basingstoke to Paris, and Basingstoke to Bournemouth and back, as well as organising a fundraising charity dinner. So far, they have raised more than £215,000.

On the 2017 Ark to Arc ride, the Arkriders passed through Basingstoke’s twin town Alencon on the way to Paris. Now, the 2019 challenge will see the cyclists visit Basingstoke’s other twin towns of Braine L’Alleud, in Belgium, and Euskirchen, in Germany.

The Arkriders 2019 Twin Towns Tour will be another big challenge for the group, which consists of current and new Arkriders, as they travel through four countries in five days from July 17-22, clocking up a total of 453 miles.

So far, 28 riders have signed up for the 2019 ride, which will finish in Cologne, but there is still time for more to come on board before the January 31 deadline. Each of the cyclists has committed to raising at least £500 for Ark.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees, who is one of the driving forces behind the charity and cancer treatment centre campaign, said: “Thank you so much to the cyclists who have signed up for the Arkriders 2019 Twin Towns Tour challenge.

“The Arkriders are special people who have made a massive difference to Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m appeal, and the Arkriders 2019 Twin Towns Tour challenge will be one of the key fundraising events for the charity this year.

“Everyone at Ark Cancer Centre Charity appreciates the time, money and effort that the Arkriders put in to each of their fundraising feats.

“Good luck to all of the cyclists taking part in the 2019 challenge, and thanks to everyone who sponsors and supports this amazing group of people.”

The riders taking part in the Arkriders 2019 Twin Towns Tour will be supported by experienced cyclists from the Morvélo Basso road racing team, and Mallorca Cycling and The Road Shepherds, who specialise in cycling events and holidays.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the Arkriders 2019 Twin Towns Tour should go to arkriders.co.uk/ride19/

Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m will provide a range of support services and complementary therapies, alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, in a calm and uplifting environment at the new cancer treatment centre, which will largely be funded by HHFT.

Picture caption: Some of the Arkriders who took part in the recent first training ride for the Arkriders 2019 Twin Towns Tour challenge.

Picture by Matt O’Connor www.mocphotography.com