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The Great Weston Ride Comes of Age

by Holly Blades

The highly-rated Great Weston Ride reaches a significant milestone as it celebrates its tenth birthday next year and, with nine successive years of steady growth behind it and a major award in 2018 for its contribution to promoting health and wellbeing, the organisers are expecting to see yet another record number of people taking part in 2019.

This very relaxed and welcoming West Country event receives lavish praise and plaudits every year from its participants - to the extent that it has even been described as the best event of its kind in the country! - and it has a well-deserved reputation as an ultra-friendly challenge ride that encourages and attracts all manner of people from cycling beginners right through to seasoned riders.

The spectacular city-to-coast 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 before finishing on the seafront in Weston-super-Mare, and the 10th edition is taking place on Sunday 14th July 2019.

From the outset it is clear that the emphasis with the Great Weston Ride is very much on the pure pleasure and enjoyment of riding a bike whilst rising to a personal challenge, and the GWR's focus on encouraging participation and highlighting the very positive benefits that cycling has to offer was formally recognised and rewarded when the event picked up the 'Health & Wellbeing' Award at the prestigious Bristol Life Awards this year, further helping to distinguish the GWR from most other sportive-type events.

Event Organiser Darren McKimm comments: "We were absolutely delighted to receive a major award that recognised the GWR's contribution to promoting health and wellbeing through cycling, and we're determined to build on that success by continuing to provide a friendly and inclusive event that has something to offer for everyone. The great big smiles that we see on riders' faces at the finish are all the proof we need that people have had a challenge but also a great day out, and that's massively beneficial both in terms of physical AND mental wellbeing. And with it being our tenth birthday next year we're aiming to see even more of that combined sense of achievement and enjoyment as riders cross the finish line!"

With an innovative approach to route design that provides no fewer than EIGHT route and distance options on the day there clearly is something on offer for everyone, regardless of previous cycling experience, and another standout feature of the event is the relatively high percentage of women who take part - the relaxed, informal atmosphere around the GWR is very female-friendly, as are the support services and facilities, and around 30% of participants each year are women.

Another significant element of the GWR is its fundraising dimension - to date participants have helped to raise over £200,000 for Prostate Cancer UK, the event's official charity partner, and around £310,000 in total for a wide range of charities and good causes.So there are clearly lots of very good reasons to take on the Great Weston Ride challenge, and its tenth birthday outing in 2019 looks set to be another great day out for all who enter.

Further information, and details on how to enter, can be found at

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