As the weather warms up, Rennie Grove Hospice Care is filling places for the first big event of 2017 - the Chilterns Cycle Challenge. Taking place on Sunday 19 March, this event welcomes anybody to take on a 35 or 75 mile course across the countryside, with many taking part in memory of a loved one.
High Wycombe resident Clive Martin has participated in every single Cycle Challenge since its inception seven years ago. After Rennie Grove cared for his late father, Clive took to supporting the charity by fundraising at big events like the Cycle Challenge. He said: “Having seen Rennie Grove’s nurses in action, the care, dedication and compassion shown to my father by them is something I think should be available to everyone when faced with their life coming to an end.”
Having traversed every route the charity has created across the scenic Chiltern Hills, Clive knows the event inside out, and has found the ride to be a hugely enjoyable way to fundraise in memory. He strives to do what he can for the charity after witnessing first-hand the unique care Rennie Grove provides to patients in Herts and Bucks in their own homes, noting: “The fact that he was able to spend his last days in his own home was a truly special gift.”
Kevin Grainger will travel from Bristol to take part again, in memory of his sister Karen, who lived in Chesham for more than 40 years. After she lost her fight with cancer, Kevin took it upon himself to get on a bike and test his limits not only in aid of Rennie Grove but also in memory of Karen. He said: “She wanted to stay at home during her last few months and through the support from Rennie Grove she was able to fulfil this wish. Rennie Grove not only gave fantastic practical support during Karen's illness but it was given with real compassion and care.”
Despite having little previous experience in cycling, Kevin trained hard to accomplish the mammoth 75 mile route in 2016. Family and friends joined him on the ride across the routes to help raise further funds and promote the cause. His determination and dedication will see Kevin return to the Chilterns Cycle Challenge with his family and friends this year, stating that they’re “hoping to have another great day out whilst at the same time remembering Karen and raising funds for Rennie Grove, so that they can continue doing a brilliant job.”
Adult entry for the event that starts and finishes in Aylesbury costs £21.50 for the 35 mile route. For the 75 mile route, entry costs £46.50, or if you opt to fundraise for Rennie Grove you can enter for just £31.50. The entry fee includes a medal on completion, water along the route, feed stations, fully signed and marshalled route, mechanical support on the day and fundraising support from the charity’s events team.
Last year the Chilterns Cycle Challenge attracted more than 500 participants and raised around £30,000 to support the charity’s nursing and support services for local patients with cancer and other life-limiting illness. £36,000 funds one of the charity’s specialist Hospice at Home nurses for a year.