Northamptonshire’s favourite annual charity bike ride will be without one of its most famous cyclists this year as Saints coach Jim Mallinder switches his lycra and pedals for line-outs and penalties!
You see the Franklin’s Gardens hero, who led his team to double success in the Aviva Premiership and Amlin Challenge Cup last season, will be in Newcastle on Sunday 21st September for his side’s latest league fixture which means he’ll miss Cycle 4 Cynthia for the first time in three years.
The ride, which is raising money for Cynthia Spencer Hospice and the Northampton children’s charity Kidsaid, is hoping to attract more than 1200 cyclists to its new venue of Lamport Hall and Jim says he’s gutted not to be taking part; “The only thing that was going to prevent my getting on my bike again this year was a match,” revealed Jim, who previously participated in the public leg of the Tour de France, “so you can imagine how disappointed I was when I looked at the fixture list and spotted the clash!
“I’ve loved taking part in the ride the last two years because not only is it a fantastic fundraiser for the charities but it also has a wonderful atmosphere, with serious riders and leisurely pedalers all coming together to show their support, and I’m going to really miss that!” he added.
And Jim’s sentiment is not all just words! Despite being unable to ride on the day itself, he has demonstrated his continuing commitment to the cause by cycling the event’s 25 mile route with three of his Saints colleagues earlier this month – and is now urging others to get on their bikes; “I wasn’t surprised to hear recently how cycling is more popular than ever and so I hope this event captures that enthusiasm and that a record number turn out to join the fun” said Jim.
“Even Saints fans have no excuse because the ride starts at 9 o’clock so that gives plenty of time to still get home to follow the match and hopefully watch us stuff the Falcons!” he enthused!
Cycle 4 Cynthia, which is now in its eleventh year, is on Sunday 21st September and will start and finish at Lamport Hall. It will again offer riders 5, 25 or 50-mile routes around the delightful villages of north and west Northamptonshire.
Entry is £20 for adults, £10 for children and £50 for families. For more information, including details of the routes, entry and sponsorship forms, or to register online, please visit www.cycle4cynthia.com or call Sue Bownass at the hospice on 01604 678088.