Henley-on-Thames may be synonymous with the sport of rowing – Olympic individual pursuit champion Rebecca Romero, a silver medallist at Athens with the GB women’s four still lives there – but nearby Sonning Common will see cyclists steal the limelight for a day in April with the annual OnYour Bike ride.
The event, sponsored by the Henley Standard newspaper, is aimed at cyclists of all ages and abilities and organisers hope to attract 1,000 bike riders this year, which would be double the numbers who participated last year, as they seek to raise £5,000 for Sonning Common Primary School and the Sue Ryder Care hospice at Nettlebed.
Organised by the school’s parent teacher association, the event takes place on 25 April, starting at 10.30am, and PTA chair Penny Snowden told the Henley Standard: "It is a great family occasion and an opportunity to get those bikes out of the garage for their once-in-a-year airing” – hopefully, people taking part would become motivated to ride them more regularly than that – “as well doing some good for a local charity and school."
Last year’s event raised more than £3,000 for the Thames Valley & Chilterns Air Ambulance, with 448 riders completing five or 12-mile circuits of South Oxfordshire’s country roads.
Entries received by 1 April will be entered into a draw to win a bike donated by AW Cycles, whose shop is in nearby Caversham, although we’re guessing it won’t be a Colnago CLX or one of the other thoroughbred racing machines they sell.
Full details of the event are available on the On Your Bike website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.