Wenlock-Mandeville Is Go
by Henry Peacock
This will be the first Wenlock-Mandeville place-to-place sportive challenge on 26th August. This is a unique cycling challenge that starts in the delightful Shropshire Hills town of Much Wenlock. Much Wenlock is the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games.
The event is associated with the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital (the birthplace of the Paralympics) near Aylesbury, which is where Wenlock-Mandeville finishes. It’s a charity event but that doesn’t mean it’s a cut-down bike ride. One of Britain’s most well respected event organisers, Kilotogo are behind it on behalf of the National Spinal Injuries Unit in Stoke Mandeville.
The route consists of beautiful countryside to enjoy through Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. You'll start in mildly hilly Shropshire and observe the land change from red soil and stone through the bright Cotswold limestone through Oxfordshire. All of the entry fees go to the National Spinal Injury's Centre's charity which hopes to raise £4M for a much needed sports facility in their grounds. By riding this event you are also helping to continue the legacy and raise awareness for the National Spinal Injury's. The late Sir Jimmy Saville was passionate about the work for spinal injured people and shouted loud and clear about it.
The long route consists of 130 mile Much Wenlock to Stoke Mandeville. Although not especially hilly there are certainly some considerable climbs on the route; any hill beyond the halfway point will certainly feel like a mountain
The shorter route is for the less ambitious at only 30 miles, the Stoke Mandeville loop. The loop, which starts and finishes from Stoke Mandeville, joins the final stretches of the long route just before the final feedstation so you can join in with friends or family on those last grueling miles where riders will need all the encouragement they can get.
The organisers hope to welcome entries from hand-cyclists; the 130 miles will be a challenge and they would suggest your own support vehicle if undertaking this but the 30 mile loop will be well within a fit person's capabilities. Regardless of how you ride your chosen option we can guarantee a huge warm welcome home to Stoke Mandeville when you complete the inaugural Wenlock-Mandeville.
Kilotogo have made provision to get all riders back to Much Wenlock during the evening after the ride has taken place, due to this being a place-to-place ride. They plan to use an executive coach/mini-bus and specialist bike transport to carefully transport you back to the start. For entries and full details visit: www.bikewenman.co.uk
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