Hundreds Join Macmillan Castles Bike Ride

On June 1st, Swindon’s Coate Water Country Park buzzed with excitement as two hundred cyclists gathered for the 26th edition of the Macmillan Castles Bike Ride. The event, a beloved local tradition, saw participants from Swindon and surrounding areas come together to raise an impressive £4,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The sun shone brightly as riders set off in small groups, embarking on routes that catered to all levels of cycling enthusiasts. From the family-friendly seven-mile route to the challenging 19-mile trail, and the gruelling 29-mile course, there was something for everyone. Cyclists traversed picturesque paths, including the National Cycle Network route 45 and The White Horse Trail, enjoying stunning views of Barbury Castle and the Marlborough Downs.

The longest route took riders past Hackpen, with a refreshment stop at Rockley, before joining the medium route at Barbury Castle. From there, all riders descended the grassy trail down Smeeth’s Ridge to Ogbourne St George, before returning to Swindon along the old railway path of the Midland and South West Junction Railway.

The event was made possible by the dedication of around 30 volunteer marshals and first aiders, who ensured the safety and enjoyment of all participants. Despite the disappearance of some waymarks causing minor detours, the day was a resounding success. The organisers extended their heartfelt thanks to all volunteers and main sponsors, Mitchell Cycles, as well as Arkells Brewery and Fyffes Bananas for providing refreshments.

Looking ahead, the organisers are already planning next year’s event, set for June 1st, with hopes of surpassing the record turnout of 2017. With more than three million people currently living with cancer in the UK, and this number expected to rise, the funds raised will provide crucial support for those affected by the illness.

Macmillan Cancer Support remains committed to offering physical, financial, and emotional assistance, ensuring that no one faces cancer alone. As the charity says, “no matter what a person’s needs are, we will listen and support them however they need us to — big or small.”

Image: Macmillan Castles Bike Ride


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