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Demand Grows for the Great Weston Ride 2014

by Nick Gregory

The Great Weston Ride - a spectacular annual city-to-coast cycling challenge - has seen unprecedented levels of early interest for 2014. As a result, the organisers have opened entry ahead of schedule for what will be the fifth outing for this fast-growing event.

The 2014 Ride has been confirmed for Sunday 20th July 2014 and, after receiving rave reviews again from participants this year, many of whom are new to long-distance cycling, it seems that demand for the event is really taking off, and 2014 will attract a record number of entries for the fifth year in a row.

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Ride Organiser, Darren McKimm, explained: "This year's Ride went extremely well, we were blessed with good weather on the day, the atmosphere at the finish was fantastic and we also got some phenomenal feedback and comments afterwards from lots of riders, so obviously we're delighted with how the event is evolving.

He continued, "Judging by the requests and enquiries that we've already received about next year, it seems that the Ride is really starting to establish itself and it's becoming a major consideration for anyone who's looking for a challenge that's both rewarding AND fun!"

"We've had a number of people telling us that it just wouldn't be Summer any more without the Great Weston Ride, and we already know that lots of people are coming back to do the Ride again - including some for whom it will be their fifth time! We reached capacity and had to close the entry early in 2013. Unfortunately there were around another hundred or so people that we couldn't accommodate. However, already the interest and enquiries we've received about next year's Ride are even higher, so it looks like we're going to see even more people wanting to take part in 2014," McKimm concluded.

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The Great Weston Ride's scenic 56-mile route starts in Bristol and then takes riders through some stunning countryside and picturesque Somerset villages as it weaves its way through the Mendips and across the Somerset Levels to its final destination on the seafront in Weston-super-Mare.

The event attracts all sorts of cyclists, from the very experienced right through to complete novices, and judging by the positive and wide-ranging comments from previous participants, the consensus seems to be that the Great Weston Ride has something to offer everyone - a great day out as well as a personal challenge.

One of this year's riders, Stephen Wray, summed it up: "It was a great day.  As a runner, this was my first cycling event. Great organisation, great marshalling and a brilliant route - I'd recommend it to both novice and experienced riders".

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Sam Andrews from Bristol, taking part for the second year, added: "It was another great event this year, and it seemed massive too with the big field but also a massive amount of support, especially at the finish.  I really enjoyed it".

The Great Weston Ride also attracts far more women than many other cycling events, in keeping with its links with British Cycling's Breeze initiative. One female rider, Sophie from Bristol, commented: "I had a fantastic time at my first Great Weston Ride, I met some wonderful people along the way and it has really motivated me to do more.  I will definitely be signing up next year!"

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Riders have also helped to raise substantial sums of money for the Ride's official charity partner - Prostate Cancer UK - who have received over £70,000 to date. Charity fundraising as a whole has reached £120,000 since the event began in 2010.

"The Great Weston Ride offers people a great personal challenge, and in the process lots of riders also choose to use their efforts and exertions to fundraise for charity - it adds to the overall sense of achievement and it's a great source of motivation for many people. We're extremely grateful for the generosity and support shown by riders and their sponsors", a spokesman added.

And with significantly more interest already being shown in the Ride, hopes are high for another record-breaking fundraising effort in 2014 to go with what promises to be another great sell-out event.

Further information, and details on how to enter, can be found at www.greatwestonride.com.





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