Imagine cycling under the fully illuminated Suspension Bridge on a cool summer night, whizzing past the city centre and through the undulating Somerset countryside with the camaraderie of fellow cyclists, the light of the moon and the knowledge that you’ve helped to improve the health of Bristol’s patients while they were sleeping snugly in their beds.
On June 30, Bristol is having its first ever moonlit 100k (62 mile) cycle challenge to raise money for Above & Beyond, a local charity that raises funds for innovative research, staff training and state-of the-art equipment for all Bristol’s nine central hospitals.
Bristol Bike Night starts at Blaise Castle Estate at 11pm, heads off alongside the River Avon under the Suspension Bridge, passing through Bristol’s waterfront, past the SS Great Britain, winds its way round the city, past the downs and out into the surrounding countryside. It returns to the suburbs, heading south towards Chew Lake and returns to the city centre finishing back at Blaise Castle House. Just in time for a well-deserved breakfast.
It costs £25 to register and there’s a minimum sponsorship of £125.
You’ll need a road/racing bike, a helmet, some high vis clothing, a good set of lights (with spare batteries) and an average level of fitness. You’ll be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders, who aretrained in expedition first-aid and can help with any mechanical or motivational issues.
Many hospital staff are taking part. Weekend cyclist and opthamologist Richard Haynes, 45, has so far been training by cycling up and down Stoke Hill and Parrys Lane. James Hamer, 33, Medical Human Resources Officer at United Bristol Healthcare Trust Education Centre is a regular user of the 15-mile Bristol to Bath cycle track but is now upping his mileage and doing increasingly long bike rides at weekends.
If you’re of average fitness or a regular cyclist, why not join them. There’s still a few weeks left to build up your weekly mileage and become part of something special. You’ll boost your stamina, tone your behind, experience the magic of cycling at night and directly help Bristol patients. Not bad for a night’s work.