Thirty-five cyclists set off from Little Venice in London today (10 September), to complete a 245-mile journey to raise money for the nation’s historic canals and rivers.
The three-day Great British Bike-Off will raise funds for waterway maintenance, heritage and ecology projects along our canals and rivers.
Departing on Wednesday the participants will cycle from central London to Daventry, passing through the Chilterns. Day two is a 100-mile route through the heart of England to Sheffield. The best is saved for last with the third day’s stage, a hilly 55 miles. The riders pass through the Peak District, before following a section of the Yorkshire Tour de France route, on their way to the finish line in Granary Wharf in Leeds.
This is the third year of the Bike-Off, and we have already surpassed the £40k raised from last year’s challenge. There has also been generous support from Express Newspapers, Doubletree Leeds and The Hop in Leeds.
Ruth Ruderham, the Canal & River Trust’s head of fundraising, said: “It’s great to have the Grand Départ in such a picturesque waterway location as Little Venice, and the route will take in a number of other gems. With the Tour of Britain underway our team are in good company as they make their way across the country. While they might not be getting up to the speeds of Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, we hope the fundraising efforts of our cyclists will make up for the pain of cycling a few hundred miles.
“Our canals and rivers have had a revival in the last few decades, but we still need to raise more money to look after them. Should you see our cyclists on route do give them some encouragement and it’s not too late to sponsor them either.”