35 fans took part in the annual Big Bike Challenge last weekend cycling 53 miles from St Mary’s Stadium to the Madejski Stadium in Reading.
The participants biked to Berkshire ahead of the lunchtime kick-off last Saturday to raise funds for the Saints Foundation and ‘ABF The Soldiers Charity’. Due to the game’s early start, the riders set off between 5.30am and 7.00am from Southampton with the unseasonal spring weather of ice and a biting wind not putting off the committed fundraisers!
All riders successfully navigated the route through Winchester and Basingstoke supported throughout by a team of volunteers who gave up their time to marshal the route.
Everyone arrived by 11.30am with Nick Westmore claiming the sprint challenge prize of 2 hospitality tickets for a Premier League fixture at St Mary’s Stadium, by completing the route in 2 hours 57 minutes. The riders’ watched Saints defeat Reading 2-0 maintaining the Big Bike Challenge 100% win ratio, having seen victories at Crystal Palace and Brighton in previous seasons!
Andy Shaw took part in the event and commented, “It was the best 3 hours 26 minutes I’ve ever had in such freezing conditions! Great spirit amongst all the riders even with the early start and cold weather. Looking forward to next year, as long as it’s not as far as Newcastle!”
As well as raising funds for the Saints Foundation’s disability programme, the Big Bike Challenge has also supported ABF the Soldiers Charity, who provide practical assistance in times of need, in the form of financial grants to individuals as well as specialist charities that support the wider Army family.
Shelley Davies (Events Officer for the Saints Foundation) commented, “The day was a great success despite the cold start at 5.30am. The participants have been extremely committed and enthusiastic with their training, fundraising and especially on the day of the event and it always makes the day that more memorable when Saints win!”
Click here to view the images of the day. The Saints Foundation will be organising the Big Bike Challenge for the 2013-14 season once the new season’s fixtures are published, If you would like to take part email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 6889370.